Microfictions

Overview

Cinderella's sisters surgically modify their feet to win the prince's love. A werewolf gathers up enough courage to visit a dentist. A medium trying to reach the afterworld gets a recorded message. A fox and a badger compete to out-fool each other. Whether writing of insomnia from a mosquito's point of view or showing us what happens after the princess kisses the frog, Ana Maria Shua, in these fleet and incandescent stories, is nothing if not pithy—except, of course, wildly entertaining. Some as short as a ...
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Microfictions

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Overview

Cinderella's sisters surgically modify their feet to win the prince's love. A werewolf gathers up enough courage to visit a dentist. A medium trying to reach the afterworld gets a recorded message. A fox and a badger compete to out-fool each other. Whether writing of insomnia from a mosquito's point of view or showing us what happens after the princess kisses the frog, Ana Maria Shua, in these fleet and incandescent stories, is nothing if not pithy—except, of course, wildly entertaining. Some as short as a sentence, these microfictions have been selected and translated from four different books. Flashes of insight, cracks of wit, twists of logic, and quirks of language: these are fictions in the distinguished Argentinean tradition of Borges and Cortazar and Denevi, as powerful as they are brief.

One of Argentina's most prolific and distinguished writers, and acclaimed worldwide, Shua displays in these microfictions the epitome of her humor, riddling logic, and mastery over our imagination. Now, for the first time in English, the fox transforms itself into a fable, and "the reader is invited to find the tail."

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Editorial Reviews

Complete Review

"This is a very enjoyable collection, and the best pieces impress mightily; certainly one is left hungry for more of these morsels. Well worthwhile."—M. A. Orthofer, Complete Review

— M. A. Orthofer

El Pais
“Argentinean Ana María Shua is one of the best creators of the microstory genre. An ingenious and absurd world in which pulsates the best literature.”—El País (Madrid)
Big Muddy

"Treat the various stories like abstract art, rather than typical works of English. They are most enjoyable after rolling around in one's mind for a time. They are exquisite to ponder. They have subtle meanings and messages that can be searched for."—Clinton Borror, Big Muddy

— Clinton Borror

David William Foster
“Shua’s microfictions are paradigms of wicked humor. The author shows herself capable repeatedly of zeroing in on a detail—perverse, quirky, often appalling—of the unstable reality of human experience and revealing it to be the essence of ordinary daily existence.”—David William Foster, Regents’ Professor of Spanish and Women & Gender Studies at Arizona State University, and editor of Chasqui: Revista de literatura latinoamericana
Jose Miguel Oviedo
“For their mental sharpness, imaginative insightfulness, and critical irony, the microfictions of Ana María Shua place her on the front line of the new Latin American fiction.”—José Miguel Oviedo
Straylight

"This book is a fascinating opportunity to read something light, quick, and enjoyable. It is a fun escape into a world that urges you to reflect upon the multi-faceted joys and wonders of everyday life."—Jacqueline Strege, Straylight

— Jacqueline Strege

Three Percent - Chad W. Post
rochester.edu/College/translation/threepercent/index.php?id=2081
Review of Contemporary Fiction - Pedro Ponce
rochester.edu/College/translation/threepercent/index.php?id=2081
UNP blog - Cara Pesek
nebraskapress.typepad.com/university_of_nebraska_pr/2009/06/short-stories-on-twitter-short-stories-on-recommended-reading-list.html
Publishers Weekly

Argentinean poet Shua is a master of the bon mot. Each of these concise, lyrical pieces-somewhere between aphorism, anecdote and poem, and rarely longer than a paragraph-contains a fluid, perplexing, and (often) highly amusing thought. Shua creates a fantastically interconnected web with such strands as "Dreams," "Magic," "Literature" and "Men and Women," wherein everyday objects take on a frightening life of their own: "I vigilantly open my bedroom door trying to catch my dolls talking to each other," begins "Dolls," while the narrator of "Objects" declares, "The nightstand brings me breakfast in bed." Relations between men and women assume a primal urgency, such as in "Flattery": "This isn't the work of a human being," says a man staring at the bloody marks left in his flesh. "Come on, what a flatterer," replies the sharp-clawed narrator. Shua gives some of the well-known myths of literature her own gleeful spin, as in "Wolf," which finds Little Red Riding Hood wondering, "What does my grandmother have that I don't?" These dreamlike landscapes will delight and charm readers new to Shua's work. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
ABC
“The microfictions of Ana María Shua unfurl an absurd and ingenious world like that of Lewis Carroll. . . . What great literature breathes in these pages!”—A B C (Madrid)
David William Foster
"Shua's microfictions are paradigms of wicked humor. The author shows herself capable repeatedly of zeroing in on a detail-perverse, quirky, often appalling-of the unstable reality of human experience and revealing it to be the essence of ordinary daily existence."

-David William Foster, Regents' Professor of Spanish and Women & Gender Studies at Arizona State University, and editor of Chasqui: Revista de literatura latinoamericana

Jose Miguel Oviedo
"For their mental sharpness, imaginative insightfulness, and critical irony, the microfictions of Ana Maria Shua place her on the front line of the new Latin American fiction."
2009 MOSAIC
"Moving from the familiar to the strange in simple sentences, and somehow finding the worlds within our world this collection of stories bewilders and delights all at once. . . . An intriguing genre, it reeks of freshness and should be explored."—2009 MOSAIC
Complete Review - M. A. Orthofer
"This is a very enjoyable collection, and the best pieces impress mightily; certainly one is left hungry for more of these morsels. Well worthwhile."—M. A. Orthofer, Complete Review
Big Muddy - Clinton Borror
"Treat the various stories like abstract art, rather than typical works of English. They are most enjoyable after rolling around in one's mind for a time. They are exquisite to ponder. They have subtle meanings and messages that can be searched for."—Clinton Borror, Big Muddy
Straylight - Jacqueline Strege
"This book is a fascinating opportunity to read something light, quick, and enjoyable. It is a fun escape into a world that urges you to reflect upon the multi-faceted joys and wonders of everyday life."—Jacqueline Strege, Straylight
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803220904
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Series: Latin American Women Writers Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 210
  • Sales rank: 1,462,752
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ana María Shua has published more than forty books in many genres, including poetry, children’s fiction, novels, and books on Jewish folklore, and her work has been translated into many languages. She lives in Buenos Aires.
Steven J. Stewart is an associate professor in the English Department at Brigham Young University–Idaho in Rexburg. He was awarded a 2005 Literature Fellowship for Translation by the National Endowment for the Arts. His translation of Devoured by the Moon: Selected Poems of Rafael Perez Estrada was a finalist for the PEN USA Translation Award.
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