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Told entirely in dialog, "Hi, This Is Conchita" is a virtuosic comic novella about men pushed past their breaking point—and the women who drive them crazy. Peru’s heir to the incisive social literature of Mario Vargas Llosa weaves a complex tale ...
Told entirely in dialog, "Hi, This Is Conchita" is a virtuosic comic novella about men pushed past their breaking point—and the women who drive them crazy. Peru’s heir to the incisive social literature of Mario Vargas Llosa weaves a complex tale of an office worker hiring a hitman to kill his mistress, a man leaving feverish messages on his beloved’s answering machine, and a phone sex worker whose client is literally crazy about her.
The three stories that follow reveal Roncagliolo’s masterful range. “Despoiler” is the claustrophobic tale of a Carnival in Barcelona that brings one middle-aged woman face-to-face to her childhood demons. “Butterflies Fastened with Pins” is the perversely comic account of a man whose friends keep killing themselves. And “The Passenger Beside You” is a surreal story narrated by a woman with a gaping bullet wound right through her heart.
“Santiago Roncagliolo is one of the writers of my generation I most admire. He is rigorous, fearless, and funny, with a keen eye for absurdity embedded within the everyday. A new book by Roncagliolo is a cause for celebration.” — Daniel Alarcón
“There’s a lot to like—and laugh at—here, especially riffs on the awfulness of Meg Ryan movies.” — Publishers Weekly
"Ultimately, Hi, This Is Conchita resolves its proceedings in a way both satisfying and unpredictable, all the while keeping the reader engaged. . . . Readers curious about contemporary European lit, or who have a penchant for formal experimentation, or who are just looking to read something a bit different, may well find themselves taken by Roncagliolo’s playful nonconformity." — PopMatters
"In an age where the isolating effects of social media are continuously analyzed, the short story collection Hi, This is Conchita by Peruvian writer Santiago Roncagliolo offers an encompassing view of the ways we become detached from intimacy and the painful, misguided ways in which we attempt to retrieve it. . . . The collection . . . highlights Roncagliolo’s literary virtuosity." — Tottenville Review
"Roncagliolo quite cleverly and nicely spins a tale of crossed lives (and one or two crossed lines) out of these dialogues. The connections that turn out to be there all the time make the failure of communication all the more damning. . . . Roncagliolo has a nice, sure touch throughout . . . a nice little collection, with some sly dark humor, and makes for an entertaining read." — The Complete Review
"Roncagliolo is an incredibly gifted storyteller who is able to execute many writing styles. . . . Roncagliolo reminds us that, although we are isolated by default, we are all connected to each other in some way." — Three Percent
"Hi, This Is Conchita and other stories is a funny book from an up and coming star of Latin American fiction. A reader would do well to spend a little time with this short volume of freely rendered conversations." — By The Firelight
Praise for Red April:
“Within the frame of a puzzling whodunit, Roncagliolo crafts an unsparing view of life controlled by a repressive and paranoid government.”
— Publishers Weekly
“The second half of this novel is a tour de force. Suspense builds excruciatingly against the great festive crescendo that is Ayacucho's Holy Week, with its heady mix of iconography and emotion. . . . This novel teaches us to look askance at its every expression of identity, from the most atavistic to the most modern and progressive.”
— Times Literary Supplement