"In Four by Four, Mesa's sentences are clear as glass, but when you look through you will be terrified by what you see."--Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel
Set entirely at Wybrany College--a school where the wealthy keep their kids safe from the chaos erupting in the cities--Four by Four is a novel of insinuation and gossip, in which the truth about Wybrany's "program" is always palpable, but never explicit. The mysteries populating the novel open with the disappearance of one of the "special," scholarship students. As the first part unfolds, it becomes clear that all is not well in Wybrany, and that something more sordid lurks beneath the surface.
In the second part--a diary written by an imposter who has infiltrated the school as a substitute teacher--the eerie sense of what's happening in this space removed from society, becomes even more acute and sinister.
An exploration of the relationship between the powerful and powerless--and the repetition of these patterns--Mesa's "sophisticated nightmare" calls to mind great works of gothic literature (think Shirley Jackson) and social thrillers to create a unique, unsettling view of freedom and how a fear of the outside world can create monsters.
About the Author: Sara Mesa is the author of eight works of fiction, including Scar (winner of the Ojo Critico Prize), Four by Four (a finalist for the Herralde Prize), An Invisible Fire (winner of the Premio Málaga de Novela), and Cara de Pan. Her works have been translated into more than ten different languages, and has been widely praised for her concise, sharp writing style. Katie Whittemore is a graduate of the University of NH (BA), Cambridge University (M.Phil), and Middlebury College (MA), and was a 2018 Bread Loaf Translators Conference participant. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Two Lines, The Arkansas International, The Common Online, Gulf Coast Magazine Online, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Brooklyn Rail, and InTranslation. Current projects include novels by Spanish authors Sara Mesa, Javier Serena, and Aliocha Coll, Aroa Moreno Durán, and Nuria Labari.