Andreï Makine’s A Woman Loved is an exploration of limitations: the limits of our capacity to fully understand another person’s inner life, the limits of art to faithfully portray it, and how we compensate for these constraints by creating narratives.
This month, Penguin Classics will publish Uruguayan author Mario Benedetti’s La Tregua as The Truce: The Diary of Martín Santomé—fifty-five years after the novel was originally published in Spanish. Written as a journal, it is the poignant tale of widower Martín Santomé’s affection for his young co-worker.
In order to enjoy The Journey, the second volume of revered Mexican author Sergio Pitol’s idiosyncratic autobiographical trilogy, the reader must abandon expectations: of genre, of structure, of distinctions between the aesthetic “truth” of dreams and fiction, and truth in the sense of literal accuracy.
The stories here are indicative of the wide variety of styles in contemporary Peruvian literature, where individual approaches trump the need to fit into some imposed stylistic collective.
To tame this beast, two reins are needed.
That extraordinary screeching had been artificial: it hadn’t come from the ice, but from a weapon.
On the first attempt, the trigger jammed.
My skull rolls on the floor. Damn it.
I must imitate my sister in order to be her mother
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