It’s a welcome addition to the very particular subgenre of motherhood horror; I thought of Helen Phillips’s most recent book, The Need, and of Fever Dream, by Samanta Schweblin (by coincidence, another Argentine writer living in Europe). All three of these writers have arrived at the insight that conveying fright and confusion is a most effective way to capture what it is to be a mother ... The depiction of motherhood as a trap—of having one’s self subsumed by another human’s needs—is a well-established trope, and the reader might wonder if the narrator suffers from a postpartum disorder. But psychiatric pathology is not exactly Harwicz’s gambit. The author’s accomplishment here is conjuring not a mother struggling to be good but a woman struggling not to be bad ... I found each...perspective shifts confusing, which I suspect would please the author. Die, My Love meanders, intentionally it seems. Though most scenes are short and the chapters are disjointed, somehow the over-all effect is exacting ... It’s fitting that Die, My Love concludes with the narrator throwing a party ... It all looks like a happy ending, but somehow it’s the most horrific turn in the book.
The plunge into chaos and libidinal disaster in Ariana Harwicz’s debut novel, Die, My Love, threatens to undo the possibility of story altogether ... Her jagged syntax makes her work very different from much of contemporary American fiction, especially that which privileges a controlled style. Obscenity is a tic that is always ready to ambush her thoughts ... Characters are permeable, scenes fragment. There is no stable surface to give the narrator of Die, My Love respite ... Die, My Love is impressive for the force of the narrator’s insatiable rage, which fragments the boundaries of the self. There can be no control over the story, or even over the language in which it is told. The book cannot serve as an aesthetic object when the sense of surface constantly gives way.
There is an unsettling sense of both intimacy and distance as Harwicz is able to catch that disquieting moment when you step outside yourself to become a witness to your own reality ... Perhaps the most striking element of this novel, especially in regard to Harwicz’s particular use of language, is the overwhelming presence of animals and the narrator’s constant comparisons of herself to them ... Harwicz is one of the strongest voices in a contemporary trend of female Latin American writers that include Mariana Enriquez, Gabriela Wiener, Selva Almada, Mónica Ojeda, or Samanta Schweblin who create these dark, violent, intimate portraits that attempt to make pain and suffering visible through writing ... a striking, if not shattering, text that explores the darkest corners of the human psyche while also pushing at the possibilities of writing.