The Ally: A Novel (Paperback)
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In this unexpectedly hilarious social novel, a misguided thirty-something tries to beat his girlfriend at her own game: becoming the ultimate feminist.
When he first meets Najwa at a lecture by Siri Hustvedt—whom he’s never read—our hero discovers a whole new world of feminist thought. Determined to impress her, he sets out sincerely on his journey to allyship. His mother confides in him about the dreams she had to sacrifice because of the patriarchy, and he laments the violence and oppression women face. But he can’t help but notice that they’re going about their activism the wrong way…
So our hero does what any good ally should: he gathers the worst of the macho men in town and begins a campaign to provoke the feminists. By “putting them in their place” with this phallic club—pelting demonstrators with raw eggs, posting obscene, threatening manifestos—he’s convinced he can make women understand, and get them to fight harder for the cause.
Following him as his plan spectacularly fails, The Ally mixes humor, clever storytelling, and hard-core feminist theory to lampoon the macho superiority complex and our modern gender wars.
About the Author
Iván Repila worked in advertising, graphic design, and publishing before turning to writing with his highly acclaimed debut novel, Despicable Comedy. His second novel, The Boy Who Stole Attila’s Horse, was his first to appear in English. Repila’s work is celebrated in his homeland of Spain and praised for its originality and depth, and has been translated into more than fifteen languages.
Mara Faye Lethem is an award-winning translator of contemporary Catalan and Spanish prose, and the author of A Person’s a Person, No Matter How Small. Her recent translations include books by Patricio Pron, Max Besora, Javier Calvo, Marta Orriols, Toni Sala, Alicia Kopf, and Irene Solà. She is currently translating the collected short stories of Pere Calders.
“The satire is searing.” —New York Times Book Review
“[A] biting new satire…[a] very funny book about how hard it is to put political belief into action...Repila charms and amuses.” —The Telegraph
“Surprisingly tender…[Repila] always keeps the political firmly entrenched in the personal…The Ally is dark, funny, self-aware, and clever.” —Litro Magazine
“The Ally, an entertaining satire on the role of men in the feminist revolution, has become a little literary phenomenon.” —GQ (Spain)
“Guerrilla warfare between feminists and masculinists keeps escalating, taking this suspense novel from Iván Repila into a darkly comic dystopia…funny and surprisingly profound.” —Le Monde des livres
“Hilarious and provocative.” —Qué Leer
“Will pro-feminism be ‘the final revolution to build a just, egalitarian, and environmentalist world?’ Iván Repila confesses it’s the only utopia he believes in…And we want to believe in it with him.” —Cosmopolitan (France)
“Funny and intelligent…the definitive Spanish novel that any man who aspires to call himself a feminist must read.” —Marina Garcés, Open University of Catalonia
“Through this brilliantly incisive tale of a man determined to be the best feminist ever, Iván Repila takes us on a no-holds-barred, brutally satirical, and wild ride through twenty-first-century machismo and misogyny. Deeply intelligent, brave, funny, and provocative.” —Julianne Pachico, author of The Anthill and The Lucky Ones