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A Talisman in the Darkness: Selected Stories of Olga Orozco

Overview

"This is a gem of a collection of Olga Orozco stories, beautifully rendered into English. This wise selection of stories reveals Orozco's lyrical, as well as mysterious, prose. The translators provide an excellent introduction to Orozco's haunting and illuminating saga of childhood on the Argentine pampa."— Marjorie Agosin, Wellesley College

This collection introduces readers to the hallucinatory yet lucid world that Olga Orozco's young narrator, Lía, inhabits and animates with her prodigious imagination and the ...

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A Talisman in the Darkness

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Overview

"This is a gem of a collection of Olga Orozco stories, beautifully rendered into English. This wise selection of stories reveals Orozco's lyrical, as well as mysterious, prose. The translators provide an excellent introduction to Orozco's haunting and illuminating saga of childhood on the Argentine pampa."— Marjorie Agosin, Wellesley College

This collection introduces readers to the hallucinatory yet lucid world that Olga Orozco's young narrator, Lía, inhabits and animates with her prodigious imagination and the reality of small-town life on the Argentine plains in the 1920s.

Olga Orozco (1920–1999) is considered to be one of the major Argentine writers of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Culled from two previous collections written 28 years apart, the first English translation of Argentine poet Orozco’s short fiction pulses with surreal imagery in stories seen through the innocent eyes of Lía, the author’s autobiographical stand-in. The offstage death of Lía’s brother in the early story “And Still the Wheel,” haunts Lía throughout the book, fueling her sense of wonder and fear of the unknown. Because most stories lack a traditional arc and are given to long patches of dreamlike imagery, they can feel monotonous, but when there’s a definite structure, the power of Orozco’s prose is apparent. In “St. John’s Day Bonfire,” Lía, her sisters Laura, María de las Nieves, and friends from the neighborhood make wishes while leaping a bonfire. When Lía’s wish—which is shyly romantic—is in danger of being exposed, her sister, normally contrary and aloof, rescues her with a clever, unexpected gesture. Orozco captures Lía’s timorousness, Laura’s abiding love for her, and the heated, naïve passion of a children’s ritual with vivid and compassionate prose. Though a poetic strain overwhelms the collection as a whole, this is a valuable introduction to a writer whose work deserves a wider audience. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935210306
  • Publisher: White Pine Press
  • Publication date: 5/29/2012
  • Series: Secret Weavers Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary G. Berg:
Mary Berg is a writer and translator. She has translated a number of books from Spanish, including I’ve Forgotten Your Name by Martha Rivera, River of Sorrows by Libertad Demitropulos, Ximena at the Crossroads by Laura Riesco, The Landscape of Castile by Antonio Machado and The Poet and the Sea by Juan Ramon Jimenez. She teaches at Harvard Extension and Brandeis University.

Olga Orozco: Olga Orozco (1920 – 1999) is considered to be one of the major Argentine writers of the 20th century. She won over a dozen major prizes and awards for her poetry and short stories, and has been translated into at least fifteen languages.

Melanie Niicholson: Melanie Nicholson is Associate Professor of Spanish at Bard College.  She is the author of Evil, Madness, and the Occult in Argentine Poetry (2002).  Her articles on Latin American poetry have appeared in Latin American Literary Review, Letras Femeninas, and Crítica Hispánica.

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