Welcome back, boss lady
I like your nominations. Half-Blood Blues and The Sisters Brothers are also on the Booker shortlist (the winner to be announced Tuesday). Those two books and The Free World are also on the Giller Prize shortlist (to be announced Nov. 8).
Guillermo, were you going to make a choice from the five options you cited for a Mexican female author? Below is what you said. I think that's all we're missing now.
Posted by Guillermo Maynez on 12/9/2011:
10. Now for the Mexican female author:
There are several options available on Amazon:
1. Carmen Boullosa: "Leaving Tabasco". A Mexican woman recollects her life with her tyrannical grandmother in Southern Mexico. Heavy dose of Magical realism.
2. Carmen Boullosa: "They're Cows, We're Pigs". In 1666, 13-year-old Jean Smeeks leaves his native Flanders for Tortuga, notorious 17th-century pirate refuge. In the reeking, pitching quarters of the vessel, a woman reveals herself to him--and to him only. It is her fate that sets the novel's moral compass, for what attracts her is a renegade Tortugan community, the Brethren of the Coast--anti-colonialist buccaneers who represent, in part, the upside of lawlessness: communalism and no locked doors. The downside? Women are forbidden.
3. Carmen Boullosa: "Cleopatra Dismounts". Mexican author Boullosa plays with the life and myth of Cleopatra in her third novel to be published in the U.S., following Leaving Tabasco (2001) and They're Cows, We're Pigs (1997). Drawing on the writings of several ancient authors, including Sophocles, Cicero, and Virgil, Boullosa presents a Cleopatra different from the traditional, historical portrait, which came to us via the Romans, who had much reason to dislike her. Boullosa offers three possibilities, leaving us to decide which defines her best. Was she the lover of Marc Antony, too distraught to remain alive after his death? Or the young girl who disguised herself and went to live with a band of pirates in order to escape from her royal duties? Or a woman who learned the art of love and war from Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons, and her tribe of women warriors?
4. Elena Garro: "Recollections of Things to Come". This remarkable first novel depicts life in the small Mexican town of Ixtepec during the grim days of the Revolution. The town tells its own story against a variegated background of political change, religious persecution, and social unrest. Miss Garro, who has also won a high reputation as a playwright, is a masterly storyteller. Although her plot is dramatically intense and suspenseful, the novel does not depend for its effectiveness on narrative continuity. It is a book of episodes, one that leaves the reader with a series of vivid impressions. The colors are bright, the smells pungent, the many characters clearly drawn in a few bold strokes.
5. Josefina Vicens: "The Empty Book". A forerunner of the Latin American metafiction boom of the 1960s, this novel by Mexican author and screenwriter Vicens was first published in Mexico in 1958. The new translation is a spare and striking first-person account of Jose Garcia, a middle-aged accountant tormented by the craving to write something "significant" and his belief that he will never be able to do so. He keeps two journals, one of events in his everyday life, the other an "empty book," and he can never quite find words important enough to fill its pages. Ironically, the "nothing" that he tells us in his everyday diary is the vivid, straightforward story of an ordinary man, which ultimately transcends the limits of the printed word to become a heroic tale of the struggles of Everyman.
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