A varied and accomplished collection (originally published in 1985) of five vivid stories by a Spanish feminist and surrealist, now making her English language debut, whose entrapped, dreamy characters grip the imagination powerfully. The influence of an insensitive patriarchal culture is stunningly captured in the title story's revelation of the eerie symbiosis that binds (and bonds) two distracted married women. ""Once Upon a Time"" amusingly speculates about the inner lives of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and her dwarfs, and various Disney characters. And ""The Dead"" depicts a frustrated wife's psychic disintegration during her wedding anniversary party, in an incisive piece that's also an ingenious gloss on James Joyce's famous fiction of the same name. Brilliant work, nicely translated, from a versatile, stylish, and almost frighteningly contemporary writer.