Lilus Kikus and Other Stories


The first English edition of the work of one of Mexico's most admired women writers.

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The first English edition of the work of one of Mexico's most admired women writers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Composed of an illustrated novella, four stories and a critical essay, this collection introduces English-speaking readers to experimental Mexican writer Poniatowska, whose body of work has earned high honors in Central and South America. Poniatowska writes protagonists who ask questions and break rules-not, they would have one think, out of a desire to subvert, but as the natural result of their wide-eyed innocence. The title work, published in 1954, is a child's eye view of a grown-up world. Slim chapters and simple sentences are the foil for critiques ("Lilus's father never walks barefoot. He has too many appointments") and magic (God takes an elevator down Lilus's throat to visit her soul). Carrington's drawings heighten the distorted beauty of young Lilus Kikus's perspective. The stories that follow deal in solitude: a philosopher's daughter's life passes in the shadow of his intellectual circle; two lovers are turned out of the bedroom into a world that keeps them separate; a breathless monologue is delivered to a lover falling asleep; a nurse is accused of keeping five husbands. With each piece, a new facet of Poniatowska's rich stylistic vocabulary is revealed. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Born in Paris in 1932, award-winning novelist Pontiatowska emigrated to Mexico with her family during World War II and stayed. In 1954, she published her first book, Lilus Kikus, a long story with chapters and illustrations. The original illustrations, by another emigre to Mexico, the surrealist Leonora Carrington, are reproduced here. Those, and the use of a young girl as protagonist, led critics to take it for a children's story. Here it receives its first publication in English, together with four other stories by Poniatowska featuring female protagonists (only one story has been published in English before). Translator Martinez (Latin American & U.S. Latino literature, Sonoma State Univ., CA) also provides an introduction. Each story here expands on the common theme of women finding meaning in a society where men dominate. These translations offer a welcome chance to become familiar with Poniatowska and her distinctly rendered perspectives. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Tina Stepp, Henderson Cty. P.L., NC. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826335821
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 135
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Elena Poniatowska is the award-winning author of over fifty books. Born in France to a Mexican citizen of French ancestry, she now lives in Mexico City. In 2004, she was honored with the Legion de Honor del Gobierno de Francia. Poniatowska has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Emeritus Fellowship from Mexico's National Council of Culture and Arts. In 1979, she became the first woman to win the Mexican National Award for Journalism.

Leonora Carrington resides in Mexico City.

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