Reclaiming Medusa: Short Stories by Contemporary Puerto Rican Women

Diana Velez, Editor
Diana Velez, Editor Aunt Lute Books $9.95 (161p) ISBN 978-0-933216-41-9
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
A husband who does not notice the substitution of a mannequin for his wife, a woman desperately nourished by romance novels, a couple who build their relationship on the woman's fear of heightsthese are some of the characters peopling this one-dimensional anthology assembled by a professor of Spanish-English translation and Latin American literature at the University of Iowa. In an introduction cluttered with academic argot and trendy aphorisms (``it is both possible and impossible to be a `woman' ''; ``as much as we write in a language, the language itself writes us''), Velez attempts to place these stories within the currents of Latin American as well as feminist fiction. While the political agenda governing the tales will not disappoint feminists, the heavy-handed symbolism, occasional markedly inauthentic dialogue and almost total dependence on ``trick'' or surprise endings render the collection flatly and ironically conventional, at its best only a poor relation to its Latin American models. This will only engage those readers willing to exchange literary craft for ideology, although the inclusion of the original Spanish versions of two stories may interest students of translation. (September)
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