SYMMETRIES by Luisa Valenzuela


Age Range: 1 - 32767
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Symmetries ($14.99 paperback original; Sept.; 167 pp.; 1-85242-543-1): A 1993 collection of 19 imaginative stories by the Argentine writer (Bedside Manners, 1995; Open Door, 1988, etc. ) whose finest 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
ISBN: 1-85242-543-1
Page count: 167pp
Publisher: Serpent’s Tail
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1998


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