From Library Journal
Marcelo marries a wealthy woman with a weak heart and absconds six months later with all her money, going off to live with a cabaret dancer named Coca. Then, when Marcelo is spending three years in prison, Coca sends checks to Marcelo's wife to repay the money he stole. The wife confesses in a letter found after her death that she lied and had never been robbed. Years later, Marcelo's nephew, Renzi, publishes a novel with this unlikely plot and is contacted by his uncle. So begins a communication between estranged relatives that culminates in Renzi's search for the real story behind his uncle's disappearance and subsequent life and his research into the life of Enrique Ossa rio, government official and spy. Winner of the Casa de las Americas award after its 1981 publication in Argentina, this novel is the first work by Piglia to be translated into English. The masterful translation thoughtfully includes a notes section explaining Argentine references. For collections of international fiction.Peggy Partello, Keene State Coll., N.H.
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From Kirkus Reviews
Published in Argentina in 1981 when that country still labored under authoritarian rule, Piglia's ambitious, multivalent novel explores the abrasive relationship between the human imagination and human history. Piglia, very much in the tradition of Latin American masters like Borges and Cort zar, employs a labyrinthine plot to worry knotty metaphysical and political questions. Sometimes a detective novel, sometimes a fictional probe of Argentine history, the book is plastic enough to concoct a confrontation between Kafka and Hitler. Piglia's compatriot, Ariel Dorfman, hails it as ``one of the most important Latin American novels of the last decade.'' -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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