The South: And, Bene

The South: And, Bene

The South: And, Bene

The South: And, Bene

Synopsis

The South and Bene are poignant and haunting first-person narratives, each delving into the consciousness of a young girl in the context of post-civil war Spain. In The South, the adult narrator's visit to her childhood home and to the grave of her father, who committed suicide, evokes memories that constitute both a confession and a struggle to come to terms with the tragic death. The circular structure of the narrative leaves the reader with a painful sense of loss, yet Adriana's promise to abandon forever her childhood home may allow her finally to come to terms with the past and begin a new life. Bene exudes an aura of the supernatural. The memories of this narrative revolve around the family maid, Bene, a gypsy with a terrible secret. Intense emotions and Gothic elements characterize this novella, but the limitations of the child's consciousness result in a haunting ambiguity. Is Bene the embodiment of evil or a victim of prejudice? Suggestions of diabolic possession and incest create an eerie atmosphere in which the line between fantasy and reality is blurred. An important voice in contemporary Spanish literature, Adelaida García Morales was born in Badajoz and raised in Seville. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a teacher, translator, model, and actress. She has published six other novels.

Excerpt

The Spanish novelist Adelaida García Morales was born in Badajoz, grew up in Seville, and received her degree in philosophy from the University of Madrid in 1970. in addition to being a writer, she has worked as a teacher of philosophy and of Spanish language and literature, a translator for opec nations in Algiers, a model, and an actress in a theater group in Seville. the publication of El Sur y Bene {The South and Bene), her first book, launched an important literary career; both critics and the public responded favorably to the novellas in 1985. She received the Icaro Prize, and the work is now in its twenty-second edition. García Morales then lived for several years in a small town in the rugged mountains outside Granada, and her second work, El silencio de las sirenas (The silence of the sirens), for which she received the Herralde Prize, shows the influence of her residence there. With her subsequent publications—La lógica del vampiro (The vampires logic), Mujeres de Héctor (Hectors women), Mujeres solas (Women alone), ISIasmiya, Tía Agueda (Aunt Agueda), and La señorita Medina (Miss Medina)—she has become an important feminine voice in contemporary Spanish literature. It is interesting to note that García Morales studied script writ-

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