Dreams of the Abandoned Seducer: Vaudeville Novel

Alicia Borinsky, Author, Cola Franzen, Translator, Alicia Borinsky, Translator University of Nebraska Press $50 (212p) ISBN 978-0-8032-1286-2
A riddle-plagued novel with limited returns, this book will likely appeal only to academics determined to stay abreast of Latin American fiction. (The work is part of the publisher's Latin American Women Writers series.) Surreal in the manner of the work of Ariel Dorfman or Manuel Puig, the novel shucks all traditional plot in favor of very short scenes (one to four pages) focusing on a gallery of women, usually mistreated, who either turn the tables on or succumb to their oppressors. Moments of intensity emerge, as in a scene featuring Clara, a 14-year-old girl forced to perform nightly stripteases for two gay lovers. But more often these short snippets prevent the narrative from building momentum, and a larger context for these often torturous scenes remains elusive. Borinsky, an Argentine-born professor of literature at Boston University, has created a book certain to daunt anyone but the most die-hard postmodernist. In an interview placed at the end of the volume, Borinsky states that she is fascinated by ""the possibilities for confusion and love in a space where the fragmentation of family life and the new social incarnations of women suggest... conflicts that are resolved in nonlinear, sometimes absurd, ways."" What may have been a fascinating academic lecture proves difficult material for a novel. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1998
Release date: 05/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 212 pages - 978-0-8032-6144-0
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