OTHER FIRES: Short Fiction by Latin American Women by Alberto--Ed. Manguel

OTHER FIRES: Short Fiction by Latin American Women

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With the exception of Isabel Allende, Latin American women writers have been largely untranslated, read only in their native countries. This fine collection introduces important new writers and presents female interpretations of the Latin American experience. Editor Manguel acknowledges in his introduction that there is no single unifying theme or voice in the 20 stories here, but the range of this collection is a strength rather than a weakness. Other Voices presents a remarkable variety of writing styles and artistic approaches. Liliana Hecker's ""The Stolen Party"" and Elena Garro's ""It's the Fault of the Tlaxcaltecas"" are in the tradition of political realism; Armonia Somers' ""The Fall"" is a surrealistic masterpiece; and Beatriz Guido and Marta Lynch, in two of the best stories here, use deceptively simple, parablelike language to tell startling and violent tales. Other writers use the themes of love and betrayal to comment on the role of women in Latin American life; some rewrite myth or history from an explicitly feminist point of view. InÉs Arredondo in ""The Shumanite"" retells a biblical story as a contemporary feminist fable, and Lydia Cabrera in ""How the Monkey Lost the Fruit of Its Labor"" makes the sexual power of her heroine the center of her retelling of an Afro-Cuban myth. All in all, there's a lyrical intensity here that we've come to expect from Latin American writers. And, like their male counterparts, these women writers are often difficult to read. Many of the stories here yield their meanings with difficulty; two or three not at all. Still, the persistent reader will find this collection an exciting discovery.

Pub Date: March 3rd, 1986
Publisher: Potter--dist. by Crown