SECRET WEAVERS by Marjorie Agosín


Stories of the Fantastic by Women of Argentina and Chile
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 A sometimes uneven collection of over 40 stories by Latin American women, demonstrating that magic realism is rather a shared response to the region's landscape and history than the exclusive property of male writers like Borges and Garc°a M†rquez. Except for Isabel Allende's ``Two Words'' and Luisa Valenzuela's ``Country Carnival'' and ``The Legend of the Self- Sufficient Child,'' none of the stories has been previously published in the US. Arranged in seven groups with such common themes as ``Compulsive Dreamers,'' ``The Wild Mirrors,'' and ``Annunciations,'' the pieces tend to be more preoccupied with domestic than political themes, though Chilean Elizabeth Subercaseaux's ``Silendra'' and Uruguayan Christina Peri Rossi's ``The Annunciation'' are striking political allegories. Notable authors include: Maria Luisa Bombal, born in 1907, who writes of a magical world--her heroine in ``The Maria Griselda'' is so beautiful that even frogs are in love with her--that is defined by social conventions of an earlier time; and younger writers like Liliana Hecker and Angelica Gorodischer, whose stories not only have contemporary settings--the appliance-filled house of compulsive cleaner Daisy in Hecker's ``When Everything Shines'' and the murdering soap-opera addict in Gorodischer's ``The Perfect Married Woman''--but whose plots, however fantastical, have solid psychological bases. A few tales are sometimes strained in execution and concept, but mostly this felicitously translated collection is a welcome introduction to a wealth of hitherto unfamiliar talent.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 1-877727-15-6
Page count: 212pp
Publisher: White Pine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1991


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