Chile: A Traveler's Literary Companion

The twenty stories in i Chile A Traveler s Literary Companion i most of which are available here for the first time in English reveal that the nation that gave birth to two poets who won Nobel prizes in literature is also the home of many world class prose writers This collection evokes the diversity of the country s landscape and the complexity of its recent history Contributors include Luis Alberto Acu a Marjorie Agos n Roberto Ampuero Marta Brunet Francisco Coloane Adolfo Couve Jos Donoso Ariel Dorfman Jorge Edwards Beatriz Garc a Huidobro Pedro Lemebel Patricio Manns Tito Matamala Pablo Neruda Dar o Oses Hern n Rivera Letelier Patricio Riveros Olavarr a Osvaldo Rodr guez Musso Enrique Vald s and Jos Miguel Varas


The Postman

The Postman Il Postino is a bittersweet tale of first love ignited by the power and passion of Pablo Neruda s timeless poetry br Unlike the other men of his village Mario balks at the prospect of life as a fisherman choosing instead to become the postman for a beautiful island just off the mainland Although the island has a number of inhabitants Mario has only one postal customer the only literate resident who is also Chile s most beloved poet Pablo Neruda who is living in exile br The friendship between the postman and the poet blossoms Mario begs Neruda for advice on how best to woo the voluptuous young barmaid Beatriz with whom Mario has fallen in love As Neruda tutors him in the finer lessons of love Mario discovers that he too has a gift for poetry Soon the island air is thick with the exchange of sensuous metaphors


Senselessness

A boozing sex obsessed writer finds himself employed by the Catholic Church an institution he loathes to proofread a page report on the army s massacre and torture of thousands of indigenous villagers a decade earlier including the testimonies of the survivors The writer s job is to tidy it up he rants that was what my work was all about cleaning up and giving a manicure to the Catholic hands that were piously getting ready to squeeze the balls of the military tiger Mesmerized by the strange Vallejo like poetry of the Indians phrases the houses they were sad because no people were inside them the increasingly agitated and frightened writer is endangered twice over by the spell the strangely beautiful heart rending voices exert over his tenuous sanity and by real danger after all the murderers are the very generals who still run this unnamed Latin American country


The Literary Conference

C sar is a translator who s fallen on very hard times due to the global economic downturn he is also an author and a mad scientist hell bent on world domination On a visit to the beach he intuitively solves an ancient riddle finds a pirate s treasure and becomes a very wealthy man Even so C sar s bid for world domination comes first and so he attends a literary conference to be near the man whose clone he hopes will lead an army to victory the world renowned Mexican author Carlos Fuentes A comic science fiction fantasy of the first order em The Literary Conference em is the perfect vehicle for C sar Aira s take over of literature in the st century


My Tender Matador

No description available


Tinisima

In Modotti was accused of the murder of Julio Antonio Mella her Cuban lover She fled to the USSR to escape the Mexican press and then to Europe where she became a Soviet secret agent and a nurse under an assumed name returning to Mexico to meet an early death at the age of forty five


Conversations

Daily conversations in outdoor cafes with cultured friends can help make reality a little more real Unfortunately however during one such conversation one man spots a gold Rolex watch on a TV soap opera s goatherd This seemingly small absurdity sets off alarms strange sensations of deception distress and incipient madness The two men s uneasiness soon becomes a nightmare as the TV adventure advances with a real life plot involving a mutant strain of killer algae to take over the world i The Conversations i a reality within a fiction within a parallel reality is hilariously funny and surprisingly touching


The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira

C sar Aira s newest novel in English is not about a conventional doctor Single in his forties and poor Dr Aira is a skeptic His personality his weaknesses whims and pet peeves is summed up in a series of digressions and regressions but he has a very special gift for miracles He no longer cares about miracles however and has no faith in them Perhaps he is even a little ashamed about his supernatural powers Such is Dr Aira who also has to confront his arch enemy chief of the Pi ero Hospital Dr Actyn who is constantly trying to prove that Dr Aira is a charlatan Poor Dr Aira is indeed a worker of miracles but C sar Aira the magesterial author sends the very human doctor stumbling toward the biggest trap of all in this magical book


Dinner

One Saturday night a bankrupt bachelor in his sixties and his mother visit a wealthy friend They discuss their endlessly connected neighbors the daughter of what was her name Miganne who lived in front of Cabanillas s office Which Cabanillas The one married to Artola s daughter They talk about a mysterious pit that opened up one day and the old bricklayer who sometimes walked to the Cemetery to cheer himself up Anxious to show off his valuable antiques the host shows his guests old wind up toys and takes them to admire an enormous doll Back at home the bachelor decides to watch some late night TV before retiring The news quickly takes a turn for the worse as horrified the newscaster finds herself reporting about the dead rising from their graves leaving the cemetery and sucking the blood of the living all the figures are disturbingly reminiscent of the dinner party And how can the citizens save their town when deep down there is always such a dark thirst for life


The She-Devil in the Mirror

Laura Rivera can t believe what has happened Her best friend has been killed in cold blood in the living room of her home in front of her two young daughters Nobody knows who pulled the trigger but Laura will not rest easy until she finds out Her dizzying delirious hilarious and blood curdling one sided dialogue carries the reader on a rough and tumble ride through the social political economic and sexual chaos of post civil war San Salvador A detective story of pulse quickening suspense em The She Devil in the Mirror em is also a sober reminder that justice and truth are more often than not illusive Castellanos Moya s relentless obsessive narrator female rich paranoid wonderfully perceptive and in the end fabulously unreliable paints with frivolous profundity a society in a state of collapse br br br Castellanos Moya s em Senselessness em was acclaimed an innovative and invigoratingly twisted piece of art em Village Voice em and a brilliantly crafted moral fable as if Kafka had gone to Latin America for his source materials Russell Banks