cover image Soho Square

Soho Square

. Trafalgar Square Publishing, $19.95 (286pp) ISBN 978-0-7475-0716-1

This eclectic, beautifully produced British import gathers fiction, poetry, essays, drawings and photographs from all over the world, with an emphasis on American, Canadian and South American writers. Manguel ( Other Fires: Short Fiction by Latin American Women ), who translates most pieces not written in English, has gone out of his way to discover obscure texts: a speech Jorge Luis Borges gave at a dinner in his honor after his resignation from a demeaning government job, a rejected chapter from Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch. Most of the works here fall into one of three categories--the erotic (such as Marguerite Duras' fascinating, highly personal memoir about love and work), the bestial (in an excerpt from his forthcoming novel, which is reviewed on page 51 of this issue, John Hawkes chooses an aging race horse as the narrator, and pulls it off) and the literary-inspired (Cynthia Ozick's comic re-writing of ``The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock''). Some pieces, such as Julian Barnes's ``excerpts'' from Flaubert's journal, fall into more than one category. Most contributors are well known, but one interesting newcomer is Canadian Susan Swan, whose tour-de-force about responses to a sexually explicit novel is a delight. (July)