A woman’s feminist awakening drives a hypocritical village to madness in rural Uruguay

Translated by Kit Maude
Afterword by Elena Chavez Goycochea

When The Naked Woman was originally published in 1950, critics doubted a woman writer could be responsible for its shocking erotic content. In this searing critique of Enlightenment values, fantastic themes are juxtaposed with brutal depictions of misogyny and violence, and frantically build to a fiery conclusion.

Finally available to an English-speaking audience, Armonía Somers will resonate with readers of Clarice Lispector, Djuna Barnes, and Leonora Carrington.

“This short yet undeniably powerful take on the viciousness of the male ego exposes the soft underbelly of 'civil society,' showing that just beneath the surface is man’s base animal nature. Somers’s novel is a surreal, gripping experience.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A lusciously brutal resurrected classic.”Kirkus Reviews

“I am so grateful that a new generation will be able to read this surreal, nightmarish book about women’s struggle for autonomy—and how that struggle is (always, inevitably) met with violence.” —Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties

“The extraordinary power of The Naked Woman lies in the mysterious sensation of a metaphor whose meaning is being suspended. Like all literary greats, Somers offers no answers, she just amplifies the questions.” —Andrés Barba, author of Such Small Hands

“A fiery, imaginative meditation on the reach of embodied consciousness, The Naked Woman is a timely translation of a Latin American hidden jewel. Wild and brilliant, Somers speaks to us in the here and now of our troubled present." —Cristina Rivera Garza, author of The Iliac Crest

“Too strange and scandalous for her time, Armonía Somers is a feminist legend.” —Lina Meruane, author of Seeing Red

“Armonía Somers is an extraordinary writer whose erotic fairy-tale world is akin to that of Angela Carter. Thanks to Kit Maude’s perceptive rendering, the English-speaking reader can now discover one of the most original, and unfairly neglected, Latin American authors of the past century.” —Alberto Manguel, author of A History of Reading

“This short but savage novel is essential reading. Hallucinatory, surreal, and beautifully brutal. Like a dream-vision that gets under your skin.” —Julianne Pachico, author of The Lucky Ones


Publicada inicialmente con seudónimo en 1950, La mujer desnuda causó un escándalo sin precedentes en el ámbito de la literatura uruguaya, no sólo por su audaz contenido sexual sino además por el misterio de la identidad del autor. La obra llegó al gran público recién en 1966, cuando Armonía Somers ya había publicado dos colecciones de cuentos, así como su segunda novela, De miedo en miedo. Escritora de inusual intensidad, su obra ha sido emparentada con la de los grandes narradores uruguayos del siglo XX, Juan Carlos Onetti. Felisberto Hernández y Mario Levrero, y con autoras como Clarice Lispector y Marosa di Giorgio.

“Todo es insólito, ajeno, desconcertante, repulsivo y a la vez increíblemente fascinante en la obra narrativa más inusual que ha conocido la historia de nuestra literatura: los libros de Armonía Somers
Ángel Rama, Marcha, Montevideo, 1963

“Su obra ocupa un sitio más que marginal único. Sólo se la puede asociar, aun en ese entorno tan poco preciso de la literatura femenina, a islas o continentes orgullosamente idiosincráticos: los relatos de Clarice Lispector o de Djuna Barnes, o algunos de los textos de Marguerite Duras.”
Elvio E. Gandolfo, Clarín, 1986






Event date: 

Friday, November 9, 2018 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

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The Naked Woman Cover Image
By Armonía Somers, Kit Maude (Translator), Elena Chavez Goycochea (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781936932436
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Feminist Press - November 6th, 2018