Blood Red

Gabriela Ponce

Translated by Sarah Booker

Dead Ink



ISBN: 9781915368355


Publication date: 18 January 2024



‘We felt as if we were just one body—bone, blood, flesh—that momentarily splits apart to come back together, pulled by the irremediable need for touch.’

“Dark, beautiful, and a little disturbing.” — Kirkus Reviews

“This book is savage. Ponce’s prose is full of passion, that is, full of desire and pain. That’s why it feels so alive, like a bleeding heart pumping inside your head.” — Mónica Ojeda, author of Jawbone

“A raw, stream-of-consciousness novel that feels like putting Viriginia Woolf and Ottessa Moshfegh in a blender. The exhilarating English-language debut from celebrated Ecuadorian author Gabriela Ponce, Blood Red centers the female body in a radical exploration of desire, choice, and consequences.” Book Culture

In a torrent of stream-of-consciousness fragments, the unnamed narrator of Blood Red recounts the aftermath of her failed marriage in explicit, sensual detail. She falls in and out of love, parties with her friends, skates around the city at night, does a lot of drugs, and gives in to her impulses. Her internal monologue is punctuated by bouts of trypophobia, an obsessive cataloguing of holes that empty, fill, widen, and threaten to swallow her entirely.

Blood courses through her every encounter from periods, fights, accidents, wounds, sex, streaming to and from her fixation with holes. Blood is a vibrant reminder of her physicality, a manifestation of her interiority, a link to memories and sensations—until its abrupt absence changes everything.

Provocative and raw, Blood Red is a fierce portrayal of a woman navigating the grey—or red—zones of her uncertainties and paradoxical urges. A subversive grappling with what it means to wrest power over one’s body, Blood Red revels in the narrator’s autonomy to make choices and face the outcomes, no matter the scale.

Gabriela Ponce

Gabriela Ponce is a fiction writer, playwright and theater director, as well as a professor of performing arts at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador. In 2015, she published her first book Antropofaguitas, which was considered the best book of short stories by the Ministry of Culture. She is part of Mitómana, performing arts collective and co-founder of the cultural venue Casa Mitómana. She is on the editorial board of Sycorax magazine.