Secret Weavers: Stories of the Fantastic by Women of Argentina and Chile

Marjorie Agosin, Editor
Marjorie Agosin, Editor White Pine Press (NY) $14 (0p) ISBN 978-1-877727-15-3
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
A clever storyteller casts a spell over an arrogant Chilean colonel with two whispered words; a dreamy housewife searches for her Viennese ancestors on a nonexistent street in Buenos Aires; a young, unmarried woman is haunted by her lost childhood toys, which bring unease rather than pleasure when she finds them years later. These imaginative, allegorical tales by Isabel Allende, Alicia Steimberg and Silvina Ocampo, respectively, appear with works by other Latin American women in this evocative collection. Often the stories portray women who reject traditional roles to boldly pursue their dreams, like the protagonist in one of Ocampo's tales who ``hurled herself into the air as though she had wings.'' While these tales place readers in the realm of magic, they also carry powerful historical messages. In Alejandra Pizarnik's grisly story, a countess tortures and murders hundreds before she is imprisoned in her own castle, even then ``never revealing the slightest remorse.'' Agosin is the author of Latin American Women in Literature. First serial to Ms. (Jan.)