Scents of Wood and Silence: Short Stories by Latin American Women Writers

Kathleen Ross, Editor, Yvette E. Miller, Editor Latin American Literary Review Press $16.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-935480-55-9
This powerful collection gathers 23 stories by women from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, some here published in English for the first time, and several never before published. The authors grapple with the frustrations of being female in Latin American culture. In Lydia Cabrera's fable-like, entertaining ``Susundamba Does Not Show Herself by Day,'' personified animals represent human gender conflicts. Mariella Sala's graceful ``From Exile'' is about a writer and mother struggling to find meaning in her life. Some pieces, like Matilde Herrera's ``Eduardito Doesn't Like the Police,'' about the Argentine military dictatorship, focus on more specific political situations. But throughout the anthology, the most striking idea, eloquently and effectively communicated, is one of nostalgic loneliness, a sad and wistful longing for connection. Maria Luisa Puga, in her ``Memories on the Oblique,'' writes, ``It would truly seem that we traipse through the world with shrunken spirits: lame, awkward. And suddenly we run across something . . . lit up . . . and it's just as if we had come home.'' Ross is a professor of Latin American literature at Duke University; Miller is editor of Latin American Literary Review Press. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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