A CRACK IN THE WALL by Claudia Piñeiro


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A highly metaphorical crack in a wall that isn’t even his splits open the middle-class facade of a Buenos Aires architect’s life.

Nothing moves very fast at Borla and Associates, where Pablo Simó still hasn’t made associate after 20 years. The one time the firm skated close to the wind was when crabby old Nelson Jara, who lived next door to the Calle Girbone project, claimed that the construction had produced a widening crack in his interior wall. Pablo listened to his complaint, put him off with vague promises, then showed up at the construction site to find his boss, Borla, and their secretary Marta Horvat, standing over Jara’s corpse. An accident, insisted Borla; instead of risking the long delays that a police investigation would entail, it would be better for everyone if they simply buried the body and let the unwitting cement contractors pour the foundation over the impromptu gravesite. But that was three years ago, and the only disturbances to Pablo’s humdrum work life and marriage have been his wife Laura’s occasional bad moods, his daughter Francisca’s growth into a teenager and his constant sexual fantasies about Marta. Everything changes when photography student Leonor Corell walks into the office of Borla and Associates asking to see Jara. As if in a trance, Pablo, who’s already had frequent daydreams in which he’s advised by his old school friend Tano Berletta and haunted by Jara, lets Leonor seduce him, loosening his last bonds to a perfectly ordinary life he suddenly realizes has never been his to begin with.

Piñeiro (All Yours, 2011, etc.) unfolds her story, and the social indictment behind it, as placidly as an Argentine Patricia Highsmith at her gentlest.

Pub Date: Aug. 6th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-908524-08-9
Page count: 230pp
Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2013


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