The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-07-15
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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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.

Author Biography

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.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 3
The Colonial Periodp. 23
How the Men Were Parted from the Womenp. 25
A Maiden's Storyp. 28
Tocay Capac, The First Incap. 31
Plague of Antsp. 34
The Story of Pedro Serranop. 39
The Adventurer Who Pretended That He Was a Bishopp. 43
Amorous and Military Adventuresp. 46
A Deal with Juana Garciap. 50
New Nationsp. 57
The Slaughter Housep. 59
The Tiger of the Plainsp. 73
He Who Listens May Hear - To His Regret: Confidence of a Confidencep. 76
Fray Gomez's Scorpionp. 85
Where and How the Devil Lost His Ponchop. 89
Midnight Massp. 95
The Contemporary Periodp. 103
The Death of the Empress of Chinap. 105
Yzurp. 111
The Decapitated Chickenp. 118
The Baby in Pink Buckramp. 125
The Man Who Resembled a Horsep. 131
The Braiderp. 141
The Man Who Knew Javanesep. 144
Peace on Highp. 153
The Christmas Turkeyp. 159
The Daisy Dollsp. 165
The Photographp. 201
The Clearingp. 205
The Garden of Forking Pathsp. 211
Journey Back to the Sourcep. 221
The Treep. 233
The Legend of 'El Cadejo'p. 242
Encarnacion Mendoza's Christmas Evep. 247
The Third Bank of the Riverp. 256
The Image of Misfortunep. 261
Tell Them Not to Kill Me!p. 284
Hahn's Pentagonp. 290
The Switchmanp. 312
The Featherless Buzzardsp. 318
Meatp. 327
Unbornp. 330
The Night Face Upp. 337
Cooking Lessonp. 345
The Doll Queenp. 354
The Walkp. 367
Balthazar's Marvelous Afternoonp. 383
The Challengep. 390
The Crime of the Mathematics Professorp. 400
Buried Statuesp. 406
A Woman's Backp. 419
The Warmth of Thingsp. 428
Penelopep. 433
The Thresholdp. 438
The Parade Endsp. 443
When Women Love Menp. 462
Selected Bibliographyp. 473
Acknowledgmentsp. 477
Author Indexp. 481
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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