Fish Soup

Margarita García Robayo, trans. from the Spanish by Charlotte Coombe. Charco, $15.95 trade paper (212p) ISBN 978-1-9998593-0-5
Consisting of two novellas and seven stories, García Robayo’s collection, her first to be translated into English, is a gorgeous, blackly humorous look into the lives of Colombians struggling to find their place in society, both at home and abroad. In the title story, a widower barkeep hallucinates images of his late wife sleeping with local sailors, while “Better Than Me” places a professor in Italy as he tries to reconcile with his reluctant adult daughter. Narrated by a nameless female character, the novella “Waiting for a Hurricane” is a study in longing, following the protagonist from preteen to early adulthood while she pursues, with increasing desperation, an escape from her seaside hometown. “Sexual Education,” the other novella, is a sharp examination of Catholic school guilt in which a teen studies abstinence in high school and is consistently tempted by sex. Every tale is provocative, and García Robayo writes with an authority that is sure to resonate. Her style weaves conversational frankness with emotional depth, and the resulting stories are hard to shake. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 10/11/2019
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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