cover image Pyramids of Glass: Short Fiction from Modern Mexico

Pyramids of Glass: Short Fiction from Modern Mexico

. Corona Publishing Co., $12.95 (244pp) ISBN 978-0-931722-83-7

Just when it seemed that no one in Latin America could get through the day without being touched by magic realism, along comes Pyramids of Glass. Much darker and far less whimsical than most recent offerings from south of the border, this collection offers an unusual opportunity to see Mexico and its people through the eyes of some of its best-known writers. The stories range from the gothic (``The Mandarin'' by Carlos Fuentes) to the gruesome (``Mariquita and Me'' by Guadalupe Duenas) to the slapstick-political (Paco Ignacio Taibo II's Apaches in ``La Granja''). The collection gets off to a strong start with three excellent stories by Emilio Carballido, Angeles Mastretta and Fuentes, but, unfortunately, that quality is not sustained. With such a wealth of material from which to choose, one wonders why the editors included several of the less successful pieces. The stories are also notable for their traditional form-they could as easily have been written in the 1940s as today. Nonetheless, this is a remarkable glimpse into a complex society where subtext is everything, and the work by some of the top translators in the field is fluid and readable. (Oct.)