Strange Pilgrims

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Author, Edith Grossman, Translator Alfred A. Knopf $21 (188p) ISBN 978-0-679-42566-3
Exile and loss are the principal subjects of these 12 stories from the author of Love in the Time of Cholera , which capture with lyrical precision the emotions of disorientation and fear, coupled with a sense of new possibility, experienced by Latin Americans in Europe. Their pilgrimages seldom achieve their goals: the deposed politician in `` Bon Voyage , Mister President'' sells all his personal belongings to have an operation in Geneva that doesn't alleviate his pain; the devoted father who brings the miraculously intact remains of his seven-year-old daughter to Rome in ``The Saint'' can't get an audience with the Pope; a particularly chilling tale, ``I Only Came to Use the Phone,'' shows a woman accidentally taken to an insane asylum who can't get out even after she contacts her husband in Barcelona. A note of hard-won hope enters in stories like ``Maria dos Prazeres,'' which portrays an elderly prostitute selecting her burial site, but the mood darkens again as the collection closes with ``Tramontania,'' ``Miss Forbes's Summer of Happiness,'' ``Light Is Like Water'' and ``The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow,'' tales of suicide, murder, accidental death and tragically missed communications. Lovely prose and some poignant insights contribute to a collection that pleases in its parts but fails to strike a lasting note. But even a minor effort from Garcia Marquez is a standard toward which other writers aspire. 75,000 first printing; BOMC alternate. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1993
Release date: 10/01/1993
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Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-14-023940-9
Hardcover - 978-0-517-17076-2
Hardcover - 188 pages - 978-0-241-96865-9
Hardcover - 978-0-394-28022-6
Paperback - 978-0-394-28047-9
Paperback - 188 pages - 978-1-4000-3469-7
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-0-14-023096-3
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