SYMMETRIES by Luisa Valenzuela


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A 1993 collection of 19 imaginative stories by the Argentine writer (Open Door, 1988, etc.) whose freest work picks up where her late countryman Julio Cort‡zar left off. Self-reflexiveness dominates several pieces that speculate on ways to fictionalize intractable materials, and a few (gathered under the subtitle ""Firytales"") resemble Angela Carter's fetching transmogrifications of myth and folktale. But Valenzuela's distinctive wit and concision show themselves to best advantage in a rich portrayal of Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution (""The Charm Against Storms""), the amusing tale of a disastrous wedding night in Venice (""Desire Makes the Waters Rise""), and especially the title story: an eerie meditation on the connections between two deaths occurring 30 years apart. Very impressive work.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
Page count: 167pp
Publisher: High Risk/Serpent's Tail--dist. by Consortium