One Out of Two

One Out of Two

Daniel Sada

Translated By

Katherine Silver




Paperback with flaps



In Stock


Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


Share On

(Paperback with flaps | ISBN 9789386702029 | 112 pp | August 2017)


The most distinctive thing about the Gamal sisters is that they are, essentially, indistinguishable (except for a modest mole). The twin spinsters spend their time trying to mask any perceptible differences they have, while working hard at their thriving tailoring business in a small town in rural northern Mexico. When? Thirty years ago? Fifty years ago? Who can say—the world seems not to intrude on Ocampo over much.

Gloria and Constitución take an almost perverse delight in confusing people about which one is which. But then a suitor enters the picture, and one of the sisters decides that she doesn’t want to live a life without romance and all the good things that come with it. The ensuing competition between the sisters brings their relationship to the breaking point—until they come up with an ingenious solution that carries this buoyant farce to its tender and even liberating conclusion.

Suffused with the tension between our desire for union and our desire for independence, One Out of Two is a giddy and comic fable by one of the giants of contemporary Latin American literature.


Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


‘[Sada] was known for his playfully extravagant style, a mix of earthy colloquialisms and fancy syntax. Here, he’s crafted a narrator that’s equal parts town gossip and armchair philosopher, a biographer and a fabulist, a storyteller who recruits the reader as a co-conspirator.’
Kirkus Reviews

‘A literary titan of his time, one of the most innovative novelists in contemporary Latin American letters.’—The Washington Post

‘It’s impossible not to be swept along by Sada’s manic language, his Cervantean plot twists.’—The New York Times Book Review

‘This ticklish, deceptively slim treat of a novel is suffused with the timelessness of a fable.’—Los Angeles Times

‘Daniel Sada’s One Out of Two is a sleeper agent of a book…. A brilliant, and welcome, act of literary sabotage.’—Words Without Borders

‘Sada writes with genuine amusement and a conversational ease.’—Publishers Weekly

‘There is humor, pathos, and social commentary running through the lines and pages of Sada’s clever piece, and whether you have a twin, know twins, wish you were a twin, or any other sibling desire or experience, this novel will both entertain and disconcert you.’—World Literature Today

‘[Sada’s] winding, lyrical, frequently abstract language is one of the great joys of this comical, silly and touching story. . . . Sada dances his reader through these conflicts and on to a joyfully droll and loving conclusion. His playfulness with language, plot and character make One Out of Two a true pleasure.’—Shelf Awareness

‘Singular, colorful. . . . With Joycean turns of phrase, humor, and a sometimes dizzying pace, Sada follows the sisters as they attempt to do with the suitor what they've always done: share. For fans of succinct, clever fiction.’—Booklist

‘A poignant farce in which surreal touches are infused into seemingly everyday moments. . . . A delicious romp of a novel.’—Pasatiempo

‘Beautifully rendered in Katherine Silver’s translation, Sada’s prose has a unique rhythm and is spry and wiry, leading the reader into unexpected philosophical ruminating that is laced with dry wit and playful humour.’—PopMatters

‘Silver has taken care to give us a sense of the original’s idiosyncratic flavor. . . . [One Out of Two is] both a ribald rom-com and, at the same time, a sober and astute commentary on the inexorability of patriarchy.’—The Scofield

‘From the dream team behind Almost Never (Graywolf, 2012), giant of Latin American literature Daniel Sada and acclaimed translator Katherine Silver, this compact hundred-page book is tightly stitched with the same perfectionism as its twin heroines’ tailoring output. On the surface, it is a delightful romp to be devoured in one sitting, but linger longer with the text and it raises profound questions about the desire for union with another person versus personal independence.’—Three Percent

‘Thanks to Sada’s controlled artistry and Katherine Silver’s sparkling translation, [One Out of Two] manages to enchant and amuse. . . . This entertaining romp is all the more intriguing for the way it follows a familiar template while doing something refreshingly new.’—Star Tribune

You may also like

About the author

Daniel Sada

Daniel Sada was born in Mexicali, Mexico, in 1953, and died in 2011, in Mexico City. Considered by many to be the boldest and most innovative writer in Spanish of his generation, he published eight volumes of short stories, nine novels, and three volumes of poetry. He has been awarded numerous prizes including the Herralde […]

View profile