Orlo and Leini

Rafael Alvarez, Author Woodholme House Publishers $14.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-891521-07-2
The opening sentence of Alvarez's second collection promises a piquant and quirky read; what these six sensuous tales deliver is much more. Spanning half a century in the lives of two lovers, Alvarez's tale of a junkman, Orlo, and his Greek sweetheart, Leini, crackles with jaunty lyricism and unabashed emotion. In a blue-collar neighborhood in East Baltimore, Orlo was 30 when he was first bedazzled by the sight of 17-year-old Leini eating a bowl of pigs' feet, but the teenager is soon married to a brutal man she does not love. Their clandestine affair blossoms throughout the next five decades, generating many succulent, sensual meals and quite possibly a daughter. Orlo and Leini become legendary among successive generations of neighborhood characters, who are also rendered in several stories. ""The Legend of the Velvet Room"" is set in the present day with a young reporter (Alvarez's thinly disguised alter ego) searching for Orlo and Leini's story as the plot. Alvarez's passionate storytelling reveals the beauty and poignant zest for life in this homey community, and the city of Baltimore glows through the stories in real and made-up occurrences and locations. Alvarez's craft is elegant and refined enough to read as verse, but his nonchalant treatment through smile-inducing metaphors and imagery never isolate the reader. Though much ground from his first collection (The Fountain of Highlandtown) is retraveled, this new set is a rare treat that even those with a nonadventurous palate will find delectable. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.