This complex and unsettling debut novel follows the young Argentine conscript José Ramirez from his torture on the bleak plains of the Falklands, back into his childhood in pre-revolution Argentina, and forward across continents as he grapples with the loss of his father and his country as he knew it. Influenced by the works of Jorge Luis Borges and John Berger, The Causes explores themes of war and trauma, resilience and repair. Mysterious, gripping, poetic and magic-realist,The Causes is a love story for a threatened planet, set in Argentina, Spain, the UK and the South Atlantic.
“One of the best Canadian novels of 2019,” The Malahat Review.
Advance praise for The Causes:
“In Cathy Stonehouse’s beautifully crafted novel, The Causes, we experience the Falklands War from inside the consciousness of José Ramirez, a boy soldier literally crucified in the bitter cold. If no one will acknowledge the war that has destroyed him, how can he exist? Will he be disappeared like his father, become extinct like the Falkland Islands wolf? What are the causes of these terrible things? Can he find them in fragments of written records, reverberations of conquest and colonialism, old photographs, enigmatic encounters, unresolved memories? Stonehouse details the specific to reveal the universal: we are all fighting La Guerra de las Malvinas. Subjective, shifting, labyrinthine, but also taut and fast-paced as a thriller, The Causes is a literary tour de force.”
–Keith Maillard, author of Twin Studies.
“The Causes is the story of José Ramírez, a young visual artist and soldier who survives the war between his native Argentina and Great Britain on the Falklands/Malvinas, only to be haunted by his memories and the spirits that helped him stay alive. Beautifully crafted, the novel claws deeply into the bodily and emotional scars caused by war, and transcends history, politics and nationality by examining enduring and universal themes such as guilt and betrayal, art and survival, and extinction and renewal.”
—Carmen Rodríguez, author of and a body to remember with and Retribution.
Listen to a brief reading from the novel, and interview with me, here.