Issues of authenticity and fidelity are the core material of this attractive collection of six short stories and a novella, gathered from volumes published in 1989 and 1991 by a prominent Spanish (Catalan) author. The selections are somewhat hermetic, in that many of Riera's characters are academics or writers obsessed by their own overcrowded sensibilities. Still, she observes them with impressive clarity—notably in the Maupassant-like "Surprise at Sri Lanka," a wry tale of a teenaged poet married to a virtually sexless septuagenarian ("Against Love in Company"), and especially the title novella, in which a betrayed woman writer exacts an ingenious literary revenge on a lover who proves "more at home in the world of fiction than in real life." Sophisticated and fun.
Read full book review >