Feed on
Posts
Comments

Category Archive for 'Argentina'

This dramatic and heart-stopping novel recreates very real events of shocking, unimaginable brutality which take place in Argentina in the fall of 1979, three years after the end of the Peronist democracy, and you will not forget these events. After the military seizes power, the characters, as real as you and I, and with the same goals and dreams, have no alternative but to go about their lives trying to maintain a low profile, and as the atrocities continue, they begin to affect these characters and the people they know and love. The novel becomes a revelation in which one cannot help but wonder, ultimately, how these atrocities were allowed to begin at all, and, even more importantly, how they were able to continue unimpeded within a country which was part of the Organization of American States. Rich with history, the novel is populated by a large and well developed cast of characters. The insights into the US position regarding the human rights abuses in these countries, and the secrecy with which they were treated are illuminating, as is the collusion of the Catholic Church in the abuses. An incredible achievement,

Read Full Post »

This breezy commentary by Inez Pereyra, wife of Ernesto, belies her initial shock at discovering a lipstick love-heart, saying “All Yours,” inside her husband’s briefcase and her realization that her husband of seventeen years is probably having an affair. From Inez’s point of view, things have been stressful in the month leading up to this discovery. The housework, she explains, has been “exhausting” because she wants everything to be “perfect,” but life has been bearable, and she has not wanted to go looking for trouble (as her mother did, to her own misfortune). Ernesto has been coming home late, working on weekends, and avoiding her, and except for school meetings involving a senior trip for their daughter Lali, he has been physically AWOL for most of the month. For Inez, selfish and deliberately obtuse, however, “The truth is…why confront Ernesto with some big scenario, when this woman’s going to be history in a week anyway?” In the classic (and very dark) farce which emerges from this opening scene and becomes the body of the novel, Inez exploits her husband’s predicament for her own ends, becoming the perfect wife, even as he continues to remain distant, a situation which absolutely begs for conversion into a play or film. The plot moves at warp speed, with twists and turns, surprises galore, and ironies which will keep even a jaded reader entertained and anxious to see how the author will resolve these issues—and laughing out loud almost non-stop.

Read Full Post »

Throughout these stories, the reader becomes hypnotized by the succession of Bolano’s images, by the lives he depicts (including his own in the two essays), and by the metaphysical suggestions and possible symbols of his stories, despite the fact that Bolano does not make grand pronouncements or create a formal, organized, and ultimately hopeful view of life as other authors do. There is no coherence to our lives, he seems to say: chaos rules. Although artists of all kinds try to make some sense of life, Bolano suggests that their visions may not be accurate since they have no way of knowing or conveying the whole story, the big picture, the inner secrets of life. He himself avoids such suggestions of order in life. Vibrant and imaginative, Bolano’s stories seduce the reader into and coming back to them again and again looking for answers or explanations that often remain tantalizingly out of reach.

Read Full Post »

Despite the tacky cover, with its closeup of perfect, cellulite-free legs and the suggestion of other enhanced body parts, this book is no “penny dreadful.” Instead, the cover accurately reflects the values of the beautiful people of Cascade Heights, a gated and walled residential community thirty miles outside Buenos Aires with full-service security–along with a golf course and top-quality tennis. The wealthy residents of The Cascade, as they call the community, have left their old lives behind, and many of them are delighted to have escaped some unpleasant memories. Living in elaborately built houses with spectacular landscaping, the three hundred residents have created a world apart, their children leaving for brief periods each day to attend an equally elite school outside the community, and then returning home, where they can wander the grounds at will, without supervision. The women have few, if any, interests outside the community. Argentine author Claudia Pineiro carefully analyzes the behavior of these residents, concentrating, in particular, on four couples who live in the same neighborhood. Suddenly one night, after playing cards, three of the four men are found dead in the pool. The investigation reveals the essence of the community.

Read Full Post »

This short, literary novel explores themes which academicians have discussed for generations–the relationship between reality and language, the belief that creating a library is akin to creating a life, the idea that books can take on a life of their own, and the obsessive collection of books and reverence for them. Creating an allegory of the literary world and its complications, author Carlos Dominguez tells what appears to be a simple story–part mystery, part satire, and part quest.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »