Pyramids of Glass: Short Fiction from Modern Mexico

Pyramids of Glass: Short Fiction from Modern Mexico

by David Bowen

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Just when it seemed that no one in Latin America could get through the day without being touched by magic realism, along comes Pyramids of Glass. Much darker and far less whimsical than most recent offerings from south of the border, this collection offers an unusual opportunity to see Mexico and its people through the eyes of some of its best-known writers. The stories range from the gothic (``The Mandarin'' by Carlos Fuentes) to the gruesome (``Mariquita and Me'' by Guadalupe Dueas) to the slapstick-political (Paco Ignacio Taibo II's Apaches in ``La Granja''). The collection gets off to a strong start with three excellent stories by Emilio Carballido, Angeles Mastretta and Fuentes, but, unfortunately, that quality is not sustained. With such a wealth of material from which to choose, one wonders why the editors included several of the less successful pieces. The stories are also notable for their traditional form-they could as easily have been written in the 1940s as today. Nonetheless, this is a remarkable glimpse into a complex society where subtext is everything, and the work by some of the top translators in the field is fluid and readable. (Oct.)
Kathleen Hughes
These 27 brief but colorful stories laden with symbols and superstitions and often brutally realistic are all representative of a country steeped in tradition and enigma. In "Mandarin" a dandyish elderly gentleman in Mexico City clings desperately to his earlier life. In "Salazar" we hear the legend of an infamous bandito who pillages and terrorizes the countryside. And in "Mourning" a young girl grieves over the passing of her hated aunt. In each story the reader is allowed to glimpse a part of the complex inner life of Mexico, as if you could almost feel the sun burning exposed shoulders or detect layers of exhaust wavering on thin air in crowded plazas. This anthology is a wonderful showcase for Mexican writers, demonstrating, too, the uncanny ability of the short story form to convey complex ideas.

Product Details

Corona Publishing Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.77(h) x 1.03(d)

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