Magazine article World Literature Today

The Future Is Not Ours: New Latin American Fiction

Magazine article World Literature Today

The Future Is Not Ours: New Latin American Fiction

Article excerpt

The Future Is Not Ours: New Latin American Fiction. Diego Trelles Paz, ed. Janet Hendrickson, tr. Rochester, New York. Open Letter. 2012. isbn 9781934824641

The Future Is Not Ours compiles twenty- three stories from fifteen Latin American countries, including Brazil. The anthology only includes authors born in or after 1970 and therefore provides readers with a definitively contemporary array of writers. Starting from a sensible rejection of clichés, Diego Trelles Paz affirms that the future indeed does not belong to the young, a fact that bears itself out in many of the stories' meditations on rupture and uncertainty. For example, one of the best stories in the collection, "Fifteen Flowers," by Federico Falco (b. 1977, Argentina), portrays the struggle for continuity in a rural community traumatized by a pregnant girl's unexpected suicide. Written in a distinctive, coherent style that deftly combines the adult narrator's comprehension of how he perceived life as an adolescent, Falco's story is a poignant exploration of first loves, complicated friendships, and the outmoded community traditions that not only fail to help but actually hinder how young people understand their world. "Shipwrecked on Naxos," by Ariadna Vázquez (b. 1977, Dominican Republic), intercalates letters with first-person narrative in a story about living in Mexico City that also contemplates rupture and continuity, this time in the figure of a young woman who struggles to piece together the disparate elements of her existence, which range from her job as a drug dealer to the demand by her eccentric landlord that she tell him stories once a week simply because her name is Ariadne. …

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