The Sickness, By Alberto Barrera Tyszka

The father, the son and the hypochondriac
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The Independent Culture

Alberto Barrera Tyszka's novella has a slender but powerful premise: it is the story of a son who has to tell his father that the older man is dying.

But Andres Miranda, a doctor, finds he cannot do it. His mother died when he was young and he and his father have been everything to one other since.

Meanwhile, he is being stalked by a hypochondriac to whom his secretary, Karina, suddenly decides to write – but in the doctor's name.

Tyszka pulls these two strands together well, and tempers the emotionalism of his tale with philosophical contributions. The result is a vivid, if inexplicably cold story whose impact falls ever so slightly short.

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