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The Resource Land of smoke

Land of smoke

Label
Land of smoke
Title
Land of smoke
Statement of responsibility
Sara Gallardo
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Language
eng
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Translated into English for the first time, this collection of Argentine writer Gallardo’s short stories is a spellbinding look into the work of a virtuoso of magical realism. Gallardo’s writing is deeply rooted in her home country, with stories spanning from the desolate pampas to the frozen heights of the Andes, and includes characters from all rungs of Argentine society. The breadth of her imagination is staggering, and her clean, evocative prose unites the disparate pieces elegantly. In “Things Happen,” an old pensioner wakes to find his home and garden adrift on the ocean, his proud isolation now devastatingly tangible. “The Great Night of the Trains” documents the rebellion of decommissioned trains that come to life and take to the rails in futile protest—a nod to the brutally repressed uprisings of 1969 in Argentina. “But on the Island!” follows two housecats who help organize the escape of a young lion from the zoo, and their brief, doomed foray into freedom. Gallardo clearly takes pleasure in experimentation; though each story carries her voice, they are all playfully diverse in structure and tone, and a delight to read. Admirers of magical realism will find Gallardo’s work a worthy object of attention. (July)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 07/16/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 29, p)
  • Rediscovered Argentinian Gallardo's (1931-1988) short story collection pushes the form in new and unexpected directions in her first book translated into English. Like the work of her more famous contemporary Jorge Luis Borges, Gallardo's writing eschews realism. In "Phases of the Moon," a missionary dies while attempting to baptize a werewolf. In "Things Happen," a pensioner proud of his garden wakes up to find himself, along with his house and yard, "in the middle of the sea." In another story, clouds are revealed to be controlling human affairs: "It's clouds themselves, not the mere factors that form them, that act on the collective events of humanity. They combine them, decide them, precipitate them." Playful and philosophical, many of Gallardo's stories are written in the style of fables. In "The Thirty-Three Wives of Emperor Blue Stone," each brief section is narrated by one of the titular women, not all of whom are fond of their husband: "May he die, defeated....May his sons betray him, and he know it." The story ends with a flash-forward to the emperor's funeral, where "his wives will stand in a row, waiting for their skulls to be broken." Gallardo has a strong, original, unsentimental style—an island with birds flying above it "seemed to move, like a dead rat covered in flies." Stories begin matter-of-factly: "A man spent twenty years making himself a pair of wings," or "A cat escaped from a house full of ornaments," or "I prefer to slit throats, though my marksmanship isn't bad." Moving between fantasy and myth, they explore the points of view of animals real and imagined ("Tall as a hundred trains, the sea serpent lifted her body into the air, and enjoyed the view of infinite sea"), of trains, a lawn, two Danish siblings, artists and prostitutes, a loner at a bar whose "loneliness waited for him just as a car might for others." This is a significant addition to South American literature in translation; the breadth of Gallardo's imagination expands the canon. (Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10638022
Cataloging source
BH
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gallardo, Sara
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Sequeira, Jessica
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True
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  • Gardens
  • Solitude
  • Supernatural
Label
Land of smoke
Instantiates
Publication
Control code
950335
Isbn
9781782274032
System control number
20200717081319950335
Label
Land of smoke
Publication
Control code
950335
Isbn
9781782274032
System control number
20200717081319950335

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