Sabina Berman, translated by Lisa Dillman
Henry Holt and Co.
A transporting and brilliant novel narrated by an unforgettable woman: Karen Nieto, an autistic savant whose idiosyncrasies prove her greatest gifts
As intimate as it is profound, and as clear-eyed as it is warmhearted, Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World marks an extraordinary debut by the award-winning Mexican playwright, journalist, and poet Sabina Berman.
Karen Nieto passed her earliest years as a feral child, left alone to wander the vast beach property near her family's failing tuna cannery. But when her aunt Isabelle comes to Mexico to take over the family business, she discovers a real girl amidst the squalor. So begins a miraculous journey for autistic savant Karen, who finds freedom not only in the love and patient instruction of her aunt but eventually at the bottom of the ocean swimming among the creatures of the sea. Despite how far she's come, Karen remains defined by the things she can't do—until her gifts with animals are finally put to good use at the family's fishery. Her plan is brilliant: Consolation Tuna will be the first humane tuna fishery on the planet. Greenpeace approves, fame and fortune follow, and Karen is swept on a global journey that explores how we live, what we eat, and how our lives can defy even our own wildest expectations.
"Remarkable . . . a poetic and beautifully written novel that engages with human emotions and humanity's connectedness with nature. . . Both the plot and the language of this book are totally enthralling. It's one of those books that you have to disentangle from every time you set it down - it's so easy to become part of Karen's world, where ideas and relationships are 90 degrees different from the world most of us inhabit. It's also a beautiful treatise on nature's importance to humans of all kinds, even those justifiably called "Miss Different Abilities."" -- about.com
"Transporting and delightful . . . Berman’s clear prose pulls the reader into another kind of mind, one capable of diving deep into nature and its many-shaped soul." – Orion Magazine
"To Charm You: In Berman’s magical fiction debut, Karen, the autistic heir to a fishery, is encouraged by a kindly aunt to use her savant gifts to save the family business. A gem." -- Good Housekeeping