The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories

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The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories Edited by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria When Latin American writers burst onto the world literary scene in the now famous "Boom" of the sixties, it seemed as if an entire literature had invented itself over night out of thin air. Not only was the writing extraordinary but its sudden and spectacular appearance itself seemed magical. In fact, Latin American literature has a long and rich tradition that reaches back to the Colonial period and is filled with remarkable ...
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Overview


The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories Edited by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria When Latin American writers burst onto the world literary scene in the now famous "Boom" of the sixties, it seemed as if an entire literature had invented itself over night out of thin air. Not only was the writing extraordinary but its sudden and spectacular appearance itself seemed magical. In fact, Latin American literature has a long and rich tradition that reaches back to the Colonial period and is filled with remarkable writers too little known in the English-speaking world. The short story has been a central part of this tradition, from Fray Bartolome de las Casas' narrative protests against the Spanish Conquistadors' abuses of Indians, to the world renowned Ficciones of Jorge Luis Borges, to the contemporary works of such masters as Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rosario Ferre, and others.
Now, in The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories, editor Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria brings together fifty-three stories that span the history of Latin American literature and represent the most dazzling achievements in the form. In his fascinating introduction, Gonzalez Echevarria traces the evolution of the short story in Latin American literature, explaining why the genre has flourished there with such brilliance, and illuminating the various cultural and literary tensions that resolve themselves in "magical realism." The stories themselves exhibit all the inventiveness, the luxuriousness of language, the wild metaphoric leaps and uncanny conjunctions of the ordinary with the fantastic that have given the Latin American short story its distinctive and unforgettable flavor: From the Joycean subtlety of Machado de Assis's "Midnight Mass," to the brutal parable of Julio Ramon Ribeyro's "Featherless Buzzards," to the startling disorientation of Alejo Carpentier's "Journey Back to the Source," (which is told backwards, because a sorcerer has waved his wand and made time flow in reverse), to the haunting reveries of Maria Luisa Bombal's "The Tree." Readers familiar with only the most popular Latin American writers will be delighted to discover many exciting new voices here, including Catalina de Erauso, Ricardo Palma, Rubin Dario, Augusto Roa Bastos, Christina Peri Rossi, along with Borges, Garcia Marquez, Fuentes, Cortazar, Vargas Llosa, and many others. Gonzalez Echevarria also provides brief and extremely helpful headnotes for the each selection, discussing the author's influences, major works, and central themes.
Short story lovers will find a wealth of satisfactions here, in terrains both familiar and uncharted. But the unique strength of The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories is that it allows us to see the connections between writers from Peru to Puerto Rico and from the sixteenth century to the present--and thus to view in a single, unprecedented volume one of the most diverse and fertile literary landscapes in the world.

"Includes 53 stories spanning evolution of short fiction in Brazil as well as Hispanic America across a broad range of writing from colonial era and 19th century to modern favorites such as Lugones, Quiroga, Lima Barreto, Borges, Cortâazar, Rulfo, Ribeyro, Castellanos, Lispector, Ferrâe, and Monterroso, in versions by distinguished translators. An essay by the editor traces evolution of the genre. Brief headnotes for each period and author and a short bibliography provide ample contextualization. Recommended for classroom use"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

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Editorial Reviews

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Just reading the preface and introduction to this superb volume will motivate serious readers of Latin American literature to further explore the wealth of the Latin American short story in well-rendered English versions....This is a tantalizing collection for English-speaking readers.
Booknews
A collection of 53 stories representing the history of Latin American literature, arranged chronologically. Each story includes a short introduction discussing the author's influences, major works, and central themes. An introduction traces the history of the Latin American short story and explains why the genre has flourished. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
This remarkably comprehensive anthology showcases the work of 52 writers, ranging from the 16th-century "Colonial Period" to such comparatively little known contemporary storytellers as Cuban Antonio Benítez Rojo and Venezuela's José Balza. Editor González Echevarría persuasively argues that this rich literature emerges from a long-established conscious tradition, locates the sources of its preference for short fiction in the influences of travelers' tales and native cultures' story cycles, and has eminently sensible things to say about late-19th-century "Modernismo" and the so- called "Boom" of the 1960s that brought "magical realism" to international attention. Above all, he has chosen stories equally representative of Latin American political and aesthetic (often surrealistic) emphases. Among the best: (Cuban) Alejo Carpentier's "Journey Back to the Source," a story told—most ingeniously—in reverse; Felisberto Hernández's nightmarish "The Daisy Dolls" (Uruguay); and Brazilian Joao Guimaraes Rosa's magnificent parabolic tale, "The Third Bank of the River." An essential and wonder-full book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195095906
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/25/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria is Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures, Yale University. He is the author of Myth and Archive: A Theory of Latin American Narrative and coeditor of theCambridge History of Latin American Literature.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 3
Pt. I The Colonial Period 23
How the Men Were Parted from the Women 25
A Maiden's Story 28
Tocay Capac, The First Inca 31
Plague of Ants 34
The Story of Pedro Serrano 39
The Adventurer Who Pretended That He Was a Bishop 43
Amorous and Military Adventures 46
A Deal with Juana Garcia 50
Pt. II New Nations 57
The Slaughter House 59
The Tiger of the Plains 73
He Who Listens May Hear - To His Regret: Confidence of a Confidence 76
Fray Gomez's Scorpion 85
Where and How the Devil Lost His Poncho 89
Midnight Mass 95
Pt. III The Contemporary Period 103
The Death of the Empress of China 105
Yzur 111
The Decapitated Chicken 118
The Baby in Pink Buckram 125
The Man Who Resembled a Horse 131
The Braider 141
The Man Who Knew Javanese 144
Peace on High 153
The Christmas Turkey 159
The Daisy Dolls 165
The Photograph 201
The Clearing 205
The Garden of Forking Paths 211
Journey Back to the Source 221
The Tree 233
The Legend of 'El Cadejo' 242
Encarnacion Mendoza's Christmas Eve 247
The Third Bank of the River 256
The Image of Misfortune 261
Tell Them Not to Kill Me! 284
Hahn's Pentagon 290
The Switchman 312
The Featherless Buzzards 318
Meat 327
Unborn 330
The Night Face Up 337
Cooking Lesson 345
The Doll Queen 354
The Walk 367
Balthazar's Marvelous Afternoon 383
The Challenge 390
The Crime of the Mathematics Professor 400
Buried Statues 406
A Woman's Back 419
The Warmth of Things 428
Penelope 433
The Threshold 438
The Parade Ends 443
When Women Love Men 462
Selected Bibliography 473
Acknowledgments 477
Author Index 481
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