This month, six writers from Chile show us why that country, famed as a land of poets, is also a land of exceptional prose writers. In Alejandro Zambra's short lyric piece, a bedsheet is a canvas and a record of family history, while Alia Trabucco Zerán brings us a tale of class conflict, connection, and human cruelty. In a piece by Nona Fernandez, a young woman discovers a physical deformity that provokes a reflection on the stories our scars tell of us. Bruno Lloret tells a tale of a wife battling terminal cancer and loneliness while her husband is out to sea. Boyhood friends reunite in Eduardo Plaza's short story, sparking a trip through the narrator’s memory that leads to a forgotten—and harrowing—episode, while Catalina Mena's manifesto dismantles notions of hearth and home. Guest editor Lina Meruane contributes an introduction.
Our special feature includes work by three contemporary poets from Mozambique, with an introduction by guest editor Sandra Tamele. Elsewhere, we present the third and final installment of our fiction serial, “The Tears of an Unknown Artist, or Zaytun Pasta.”
Behind Closed Doors: Outing the New Chilean Narrative
Contrary to the epic, totalizing, and politically engaged narratives of the Latin American Boom, the scope of the stories here is narrow, intimate, more local than ever before.
Story of a Sheet
Days before my dad set the house on fire, there was a sheet drying bit by bit.
A Bitter Pill
I would have ironed my own hands had I not needed them to iron.
It was impossible to talk to a dead man, so I talked to her instead.
The Head of Household Manifesto
The hearth is a fire that’s always being extinguished.
My Name’s Nancy
When did you agree to live like a widow before your time?
Nobody couldn’t have a belly button.
Reviewed by Hannah Weber
Since its original publication in 1980, this genre-defying book has gained a cult reputation that established Jovanović as an important counterculture figure in Serbia. Written in a highly experimental style, the book follows a woman’s coming of age in 1970s Belgrade, creating a fragmentary amalgam of life in socialist Belgrade, intense sexual relationships, and family conflicts in the shadow of old age.
Reviewed by Lily Meyer
A new novel by the Swedish author reads like a caricature of sexism in the literary world that ends up being as sexist as its misogynous protagonist.