Contemporary Short Stories from Central America

Overview

This volume collects some of the best short fiction from the six Spanish-speaking countries of Central America - Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Selected from stories written between 1963 and 1988, it is the only collection currently available with such broad representation of active Central American writers. Many of the stories are quite sophisticated, dealing with middle-class concerns more often associated with the more developed countries of the world, and often utilize ...
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Overview

This volume collects some of the best short fiction from the six Spanish-speaking countries of Central America - Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Selected from stories written between 1963 and 1988, it is the only collection currently available with such broad representation of active Central American writers. Many of the stories are quite sophisticated, dealing with middle-class concerns more often associated with the more developed countries of the world, and often utilize elements of the absurd or techniques of magical realism. In "The Circumstantial or the Ephemeral," Guatemalan writer Augusto Monterroso depicts the strain on a couple's relationship when the husband, a distinctly mediocre writer, wins a literary contest. "Floral Caper" by Costa Rican Carmen Naranjo depicts a man who floods his house with flowers to bolster his failed sense of self-esteem, and, in "Love Is Spelled with a G," Panamanian Rosa Maria Britton writes of a young mulatto city girl who attempts to escape the near-hopelessness of her racial and social situation by snagging an anglo U.S. military man for a husband. Some of the stories deal with war - the unending struggle against dictators and military power that is such a fact of life for Central Americans. In "To Tell the Story," Salvadoran writer Alfonso Quijada Urias describes the welcome received by a group of revolutionaries from the citizens of a village they have just taken over - and the subsequent rain of destruction by the more powerful military forces. Several of the stories explore the realm of the writer's imagination. In "Metaphors," Samuel Rovinski (Costa Rica) shows how a writer's superficial attempt to interpret experience metaphorically cripples him in social circumstances, while, in "Gloria Wouldn't Wait," Panamanian Jaime Garcia Saucedo focuses on the egotism of the writer's imagination as it tries to convert the tragedies of everyday life into some kind of literary document whos
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292740303
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Series: Institute of Latin American Studies
  • Pages: 299
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Toward Patzun 1
Transito 8
The Rat Catcher 11
An Indolence of Feelings 23
The Circumstantial or the Ephemeral 28
Tarzan of the Apes 34
The Last Act 43
The Attack of the Man-Eating Paper 45
Reality before Noon 48
The Final Flight of the Mischievous Bird 58
The Author 63
The Forbidden Street 67
The Absent One Inside 69
Restless 74
The Raccoons 76
That Confounded Year...! 82
Cards 92
The Circle 94
To Tell the Story 98
The Suicide of Chamiabak 101
Gloria Lara 107
Pregnant City 112
August 119
The House 131
On the Stench of Corpses 140
In the Midst of the Downpour They Took Away My Cousin 142
Francisco 147
Rite 154
The Path of the Wind 157
Burned Soldiers 160
Funeral Rites in Summer 166
The Trunk 171
Floral Caper 174
Disobedience 178
Behind the Door 183
The Back Rooms 186
Metaphors 192
The Face 197
The Sweetheart of the Spirits 203
The Horse in the Glassware Shop 207
Love Is Spelled with a "G" 215
The Woman 224
The Chameleon 227
Family Photograph 228
Gloria Wouldn't Wait 231
Duplications 233
Senor Noboa 236
The Village Virgin 238
Our Boss 241
Games 244
Carnival 247
Notes on the Authors 253
Notes on the Translators 267
Permissions Acknowledgments 271
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