Review Of "Bordeaux" By S. Puértolas, Translated By F. González-Arias

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During the 1980s and '90s, the number of women writers in Spain has increased dramatically. Unlike their predecessors, these writers live in a Spain that enjoys a place of political and economic prominence in Europe. Concerned with consumerism, disillusionment at the enduring power of "machismo," the drug culture, the dysfunctional family, and loss of meaning in human relationships, these writers offer literary narrative forms ranging from the political and psychological to the detetectivesque and the experimental. Among the best of these writers, Puértolas has been well known in Europe and is now for the first time available in English translation. Bordeaux follows the lives of three individuals: an elderly woman who leads a life of solitude; a young Frenchman who has had an endless array of unfulfilling relationships with women; and a young US journalist searching for the Europe her father left behind. Puértolas's narrative world is cosmopolitan and characterized by a laconic, expressive prose that suggests more than it states explicitly. The author slowly and masterfully weaves the lives of her three principal characters into an interconnecting whole, evoking memorable images of solitary, enigmatic, uncommunicative figures who seem to live on the margins as they attempt to understand contradictory emotions and alienation. An excellent translation; recommended for all collections.


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