A Perfect Cemetery

Federico Falco, trans. from the Spanish by Jennifer Croft. Charco, $15.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-916277-86-1
Falco meditates on a series of outsiders in his sturdy English-language debut, a story collection. “The Hares” concerns a man living in the woods, referred to by the narrator as “king of the hares,” as he sneaks into town for supplies. In “Silvi and Her Dark Night,” a teen falls for a Mormon missionary, much to the frustration of her Christian mother. Cultures clash again in “Woodland Life,” when an elderly man seeks to marry off his adult daughter after an invading group of loggers threaten their home. “The River,” set in a snowstorm, sees an aging widow question her neighbor’s choice to remarry (“What would be the point, at our age? He can barely stand on his own two legs these days, hardly moves at all”), while trying to decipher a message from the ghost of her dead husband about something buried under the snow. And the title story tracks a cemetery designer’s attempts to build a perfect resting place for a 104-year-old man. Throughout, Falco revels in the unease generated by opposite personalities. While not every story dazzles, Falco proves himself as a fine storyteller. Agent: Laurence Laluyaux, RCW Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/04/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Fiction
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