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Other titles in the Margellos World Republic of Letters series:
Severina. Rodrigo Rey Rosa (Margellos World Republic of Letters)by Rodrigo Rey Rosa
Synopses & Reviews
“Right from the start I picked her for a thief, although that day she didnt take anything. . . . I knew shed be back,” the narrator/bookseller of Severina recalls in this novels opening pages. Imagine a dark-haired book thief as alluring as she is dangerous. Imagine the mesmerized bookseller secretly tracking the volumes she steals, hoping for insight into her character, her motives, her love life. In Rodrigo Rey Rosas hands, this tale of obsessive love is told with almost breathless precision and economy. The bookstore owner is soon entangled in Severinas mystery: seductive and peripatetic, of uncertain nationality, she steals books to actually read them and to share with her purported grandfather, Señor Blanco.
In this unsettling exploration of the alienating and simultaneously liberating power of love, the booksellers monotonous existence is rocked by the enigmatic Severina. As in a dream, the disoriented man finds that the thin border between rational and irrational is no longer reliable. Severina confirms Rey Rosas privileged place in contemporary world literature.
"'Books have always been my life,' says one character in Rey Rosa's delightful novella, about an unnamed bookseller with literary aspirations, who falls in love with the title character, an irresistible book thief. Obsessed with this 'severe' young woman, the narrator experiences an erotic frisson when they connect — as when he frisks her in his shop or when inertia presses them together in an ambulance. When Severina disappears and later returns, the hero becomes more intrigued and infatuated with her and her older male companion. Rey Rosa's book is both precious and precise. Its intense dreams, aphorisms, and literary lists are best read in one sitting. The author keeps readers on tenterhooks as issues of identity and desire ebb and flow along with a suspenseful episode involving the burying of a body. The fable here is a tale of love and forgiveness, which also includes the thievery of a book from Jorge Luis Borges's library. And while it would be impertinent to steal a copy, it is hard not to be tempted to grab a copy of this slim, terrific book. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Admirers of Roberto Bolaño will be delighted to discover Guatemalan author Rey Rosa, whom Bolaño praises as the most luminous of all” writers of their generation
A new translation of the Guatemalan author whom Roberto Bolaño called “the most rigorous writer of my generation, the most transparent…the most luminous of all.”
Rodrigo Rey Rosa deals with obsessive love in this riveting novel, a theme not unfamiliar in literature. But in Rey Rosas hands, the tale is told with almost breathless precision and subtle suspense. The bookstore owner and aspiring novelist who narrates the book immediately notices the attractive woman who enters his store one rainy afternoon. Right from the start I picked her for a thief,” he says. He immediately falls in love with Severina, but her mystery unfolds only gradually. Seductive and peripatetic, of uncertain nationality, she steals books to read them with a man she claims is her father, Señor Blanco.
In this unsettling book about the alienating and simultaneously liberating power of love, the monotonous existence of the bookseller is rocked by the consummate book thief who hopes to solve the enigma of her life through stolen works. As in a dream, the borders between rational and irrational, commerce and gift culture, become blurred for the disoriented bookseller. Severina confirms Rodrigo Rey Rosas privileged place in contemporary world literature.
About the Author
Rodrigo Rey Rosa is author of many works of fiction, including Dust on Her Tongue, The Beggars Knife, and The Pelcari Project, all translated into English by the late Paul Bowles. He lives in Guatemala. Chris Andrews teaches at the University of Western Sydney and is a prize-winning poet. He has translated the works of numerous Latin American authors, among them Roberto Bolaño and César Aira.
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