The Curandero

Daniel Curley, Author BkMk Press of the University of Missouri-Kans $12.95 (136p) ISBN 978-0-933532-76-2
Women and men driven to extremes enliven these sharp, ironic, beautifully written stories, a bravura performance. In the nightmarishly funny ``The Rustler,'' an American archeologist driving alone at night in Mexico is wrongly charged with murder and cow theft, then mistaken for a spy by a CIA agent who visits him in his prison cell. In ``A Question of Identity,'' a hospitalized woman who broke her hip in a nursing-home accident communicates with hallucinated faces on the ceiling. The taut title story portrays an American tourist who believes he's dying but is cured by a Mexican medicine man with Pepsi Cola, fermented sugar cane and 100 candles. Curley ( Mummy ), who died in 1988, uses an economy of means to summon up a whole life, whether he's conjuring an incoherent octogenarian trapped in a snowdrift (``The Struldbrug''), a birdwatcher reassessing his marriage (``To Have and to Hold'') or an arrogant criminal lawyer contemptuous of his disheveled mother who drifts through jobs and boyfriends (``The Rescue''). (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
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