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Short Stories by Latin American Women: The Magic and the Real (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – January 14, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library Classics
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Reprint edition (January 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812967070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812967074
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Until very recently," novelist Allende writes in the foreword to this comprehensive collection, "Latin American literature was-with very few exceptions-a man's game." No more. Combining prominent names such as Luisa Valenzuela, Elena Poniatowska and Allende with others little known outside their home countries, this anthology shows off the wealth of fiction being written today by Latin American women. Editor Correas de Zapata, a San Jose State University professor of Hispanic literature, has chosen stories from around the continent and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Brazilian author Clarice Lispector's "Looking for Some Dignity" is a bracing tale of an elderly women's creeping senility and waning sense of self. A number of stories, such as "Sophie and the Angel," by Cuba's Dora Alonso, about an old widow visited by an angel playing an electric guitar, show that Latin American men don't hold the patent on magic realism. Others, such as "Cloud Cover Caribbean," by Ana Lydia Vega of Puerto Rico, are firmly in the realist tradition; in this case, a refugee boat heading toward Miami founders because of the mutual mistrust of the passengers. If there's a flaw, it's that the sheer number of authors-31 in all-coupled with the brevity of each selection make it difficult for individual voices to stand out. The editor clearly favors breadth over depth, showcasing as many writers as possible in this appealing smorgasbord.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This thoughtful collection is another welcome addition to the small but growing body of literature by contemporary Latin American women writers in translation. (See, for instance, Landscapes of a New Land , LJ 12/89.) The anthology includes 32 short stories by 31 women from 14 countries. The writers are all well known in their own countries, but few--except Isabel Allende, who has also written the foreword--will be known to most readers in this country. The other writers, including Clarice Lispector, Carmen Naranjo, Luisa Valenzuela, Rima de Vallbona, and others, certainly deserve our recognition. Correas de Zapata's scholarly introduction sets the tone for the collection, which should be enjoyed by nonscholars as well.
- Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll . Lib., McMinnville, Ore.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Reader in Tokyo on June 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was published in 1990 and contained 32 pieces by 31 writers, from 13 nations and Puerto Rico. It gathered together many Latin American female writers, who didn't begin to receive due attention in earlier anthologies in English for the region until starting from the mid-1980s.

The oldest writers it contained were Bolivia's María Virginia Estenssoro (1902-70), Paraguay's Josefina Pla (1909-99), Chile's María Luisa Bombal (1910-80), Argentina's Luisa Mercedes Levinson (1910-87), Cuba's Dora Alonso (1910-2001), Venezuela's Antonia Palacios (1910-2001) and Mexico's Elena Garro (1916-98). Those born in the 1920s and 30s included Marta Traba, Clarice Lispector, Nélida Piñon, Carmen Naranjo, Rosario Castellanos and Elena Poniatowska. The youngest were those born in the 1940s: Isabel Allende, Liliana Heker, Rosario Ferré and Christina Peri Rossi. Writers such as Laura Esquivel, born later, and Gabriela Mistral and Carmen Lyra, born before 1900, weren't included. Brazil's Dinah Silveira de Queiroz and Lygia Fagundes Telles were other, more contemporary writers who weren't selected.

As far as could be judged, the pieces ranged from the 1930s to the 1980s, with the main focus on the last few decades. Argentina had the greatest number of selections, with Levinson, Orozco, Traba, Valenzuela, Kociancich, Heker and Glickman, followed by Mexico, with Garro, Dueñas, Castellanos, Dávila and Poniatowska. Although the collection aimed to highlight female writers in the region, it provided only brief biographies for the authors and almost no information on the dates of publication or sources for the stories it contained.

The stories were of many types.
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By Amazon Customer on January 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I love the South American/Central American genre, perhaps it is more in the novel venue. I could see these short stories more effectively expressed through a poetry venue where the reader is expected to take an approach that is less direct. I have read novels by these authors which is why I wanted to see their abilities with a short story but was left with a "huh?" after most of them. Definitely will stick to the longer, more developed writing by these authors.
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I enjoyed most of the stories, but I was surprised that not one story by a Dominican female writer was included, especially after little Paraguay was represented.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By mitzigg04 on April 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
I loved the collection of different stories providing and showing magical realism and how it is used. I would recommend it to anyone doing a study on latin american women like I am. Very helpful, with neat stories! Check it out!
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By Harriet Lindeberg-Saapunki on December 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful selection of short stories, magical !
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