Faces in the Crowd, By Valeria Luisella

 

In Mexico City, a mother begins work on a novel about earlier, happier days in Manhattan and her obsession with a poet of the Harlem Renaissance.

As she writes, her everyday life becomes closely intertwined with her fiction. Soon the decades between herself and her character begin to blur, and she feels haunted by the presence of this solitary man.

South American fiction thrives on distorted realities, but Luisella's work is a more down-beat variety, and the more magical for it. Translator Christiana MacSweeney has brought out the delicacy of the author's fragile prose.

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