Imagining Argentina

Imagining Argentina

by Lawrence Thornton


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“Remarkable . . . deeply  inventive . . . Thorton has imagined Argentina truly; his  inspired fable troubles and feeds our own intriguing imagining.”—Los Angeles Times

Imagining Argentina is set in the dark days of the late 1970's, when thousands of Argentineans disappeared without a trace into the general's prison cells and torture chambers. When Carlos Ruweda's wife is suddenly taken from him, he discovers a magical gift: In waking dreams, he had clear visions of the fates of “the disappeared.” But he cannot “imagine” what has happened to his own wife. Driven to near madness, his mind cannot be taken away: imagination, stories, and the mystical secrets of the human spirit.

Praise for Imagining Argentina

“A harrowing, brilliant  novel.”The New Yorker

“A  powerful new novel . . . Thorton seems to have wedded  his study of such writers as Borges and Marquez with thy his own instinctive gift for metaphor, and  in doing so, created his own brand of magical realism”—The New York Times

Imagining Argentina is a slim volume filled with beautiful writing. It is an exciting adventure story. It is a haunting love story. And it is a story for all  time.”Detroit Free Press

“The writing is crystalline, the  metaphors compelling . . . Its central theme is universal.”The Philadelphia Inquirer

“In a time when much North American fiction is contained by crabbed realism, Thorton takes for his material one of the bleaker recent instances of human cruelty, sees in it the enduring nobility of the human spirit and imagines a book that celebrates that spirit.”The Washington Post Book World 

“A powerful first  novel and a manifesto for the memorializing power of literature.”The New York Times Book Review

“A  profoundly hopeful book.”The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553345797
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/01/1991
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 436,532
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.19(h) x 0.53(d)

About the Author

Lawrence Thornton is an award-winning novelist best known for Imagining Argentina, his first novel, which received a number of literary prizes, including the Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award, the PEN American Center West Award for Best Novel of 1987, a nomination for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Shirley Collier Award from UCLA, and the Silver Medal of the Commonwealth Club of California. He also received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Thornton was born and educated in California, where he lives with his wife.

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Imagining Argentina 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
shannonkearns on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this was a beautifully written and moving book about the power of words and imagination in the face of dire circumstances. i really enjoyed this one.
metamariposa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Imagining Argentina is indeed a book replete with beautiful and illuminating metaphors. It accurately describes many of the events that are still not common enough knowledge from the most recent military dictatorship in Argentina. I thought most accurate was the depiction of the inhumanity of the generals, whose greatest hope was not a peaceful, just society, but an authoritarian realm where fear dominated the populous, where all dissonant viewpoints were silenced into an artificial and dreadful homogeneity. The book moved me to tears, yes, and captured Buenos Aires, yes, and brought the pain of Argentine mothers of disappeared children to an American audience.BUTMuch of the book details the fates of detainees who were able to escape from the detention centers, able to resume lives after the dictatorship ended. This feels to me like an American imposition on the Argentine tragedy. In the many detention centers we toured while in the land of grass fed beef and tango, not once did anyone mention people who had escaped. I do not know if anyone actually managed to sneak past guards; I doubt it was a common occurrence if it happened at all. This hopeful view--of reunions and babies returned from prison--obscures the