Diverse Roots in Two Movements

Some trees shout out loud. The ceiba in the garden of my apartment block made a ruckus of the highest order. And it wasn’t the only thing that shouted. The guacharacas cried out from six in the morning, hidden among its branches, which were so dense with leaves and fluffy seed pods that the birds were invisible. Its shade was the perfect spot for a leisurely breakfast, or to while away the time; we kept each other company.

Read the rest of this short story by Federica Consalvi at Lit. 202 | A literary journal (lit202.org)

Ten Women

Ten Women book cover

Ten Women, by Marcela Serrano (Amazon Crossing, 2014)

Translated from the Spanish by Beth Fowler

Nine Chilean women from vastly different backgrounds have been brought together by their beloved therapist, Natasha, to talk about their lives and help each other heal. From a teenage computer whizz confronting her sexual identity, to a middle-aged recluse who prefers the company of her dog over that of most humans, the women don’t have much in common on the surface. And yet, as they tell their stories, unlikely common threads are discovered, bonds are formed and lives are transformed. The women represent the many cultural, racial and social groups that modern Chile is composed of – from the housekeeper to celebrity television personality – and together their stories form a pastiche that is at times achingly sad, and at other times funny and inspiring. This is an intricately woven, beautifully rendered tale of the universal bonds between women from one of Latin America’s most celebrated novelists.

Paradises

Paradises, by Iosi Havilio (And Other Stories, 2013)

Translated from the Spanish by Beth Fowler

Recently widowed, a young woman leaves the countryside for Buenos Aires with her four-year-old son to build a new life. She finds work in the zoo and moves into a squatted tower block at the invitation of one of its residents.

Is this life in the shadows, an underworld of cut-price Christmases, drugs and dealers, or is this simply life? And why do snakes seem to be invading every aspect of it?

Thoughtful, yet unafraid of squalor or the perils of insecurity, this is a voice for right now, obliquely critical, grimly comic.

Paradises book cover

Open Door

Open Door, by Iosi Havilio (And Other Stories, 2011)

Translated from the Spanish by Beth Fowler

When her partner disappears, a young veterinary assistant drifts from the city towards Open Door, a small town in the Pampas named after its psychiatric hospital. Embarking on a new life in the country, she finds herself living with an ageing ranch-hand and courted by an official investigating her partner’s disappearance. She might settle down, although a local girl is also irresistible…

Open Door book cover