Tropical Night Falling

Manuel Puig, Author, Suzanne Jill Levine, Translator Simon & Schuster $18.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-67996-5
The last novel by the late author of Kiss of the Spider Woman , this book uses dialogue, letters and police transcripts to tell the story of two elderly sisters from Buenos Aires, now living in Brazil. Luci, the younger of the two, has befriended a middle-aged psychologist whose love for a widower has been mostly unrequited. When Luci goes to Lucerne to visit her eldest son, the older sister, Nidia, inadvertently enables the young night watchman of the complex to seduce her 13-year-old companion. Puig develops these two plot lines concurrently, with the sisters providing the narrative link between them. As age and infirmity catch up to the octogenarian protagonists, they become increasingly starved for new revelations of their neighbors' lives. Once again Puig skillfully interweaves his two central concerns, the painful necessity of love and the fascination of narrative. Because he has eschewed a consistent narrative voice here, opting instead for a montage of artifacts and dialogue, the novel lacks a certain depth, but his delineation of the character of the elderly ladies is deft. The result is a poignant, bittersweet tale from one of Latin America's most accomplished writers. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Paperback - 189 pages - 978-0-393-30908-9
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