After the exuberant, experimental fiction of recent years, Mexican novelist ( Terra Nostra ) and statesman Fuentes returns to the conventional literary themes and melancholic air of his earlier works, such as the gothic Aura . The title story here is narrated by an elderly American doctor who, while bemoaning his own mortality, learns in a Poe-like twist that he has been married to the ghost of a Russian emigre who died in the Spanish Civil War 49 years earlier. ``La Desdichada'' tells of two student roommates who half-jokingly ``adopt'' a lifelike store mannequin. As both become sexually involved with the mannequin, their true natures are revealed. ``The Prisoner of Las Lomas'' is a mischievous tale about a wealthy man imprisoned by his servants in his mansion, a state he soon comes to enjoy. ``Viva Mi Fama,'' the collection's most powerful story, contrasts the creative power of an aging Goya with the vitality of two of his models, an actress and a bullfighter, asking: Which is more real, the subject of a work of art or the work of art itself? ``Reasonable People'' again explores the theme of the doppleganger, focusing on twin architects, one of whom is seduced by a rather perverse reincarnation of the Virgin Mary. Fuentes's rich interior vision and lyrical controlled prose have been beautifully captured by the translator. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990 Release date: 04/01/1990 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.