The Picador Book of Latin American Stories

Carlos Fuentes

Julio Ortega

12 November 1999
352 pages


‘This collection of thirty-nine Latin American short stories, emphasizing urban, cosmopolitan experience, resets the form . . . Among the best of the stories focusing on youthful rites of passage is Antonio Skarmeta’s “The Cyclist of San Cristobal Hill” in which the belief that his mother is dying makes an adolescent boy do well in a bicycle race. The exquisitely written “Don’t Tell Her You Love Her” by the Cuban writer Senal Paz concentrates the confusions and awkwardness of adolescence into a rich interior monologue relating how a boy’s plan to lose his virginity is nearly derailed by Che Guevara . . . This book has the huge merit of introducing a wealth of talented writers unknown in English; well over a third of the stories appear in English for the first time . . . by bombarding the reader with unfamiliar names speaking in a babel of new tones, Julio Ortega and Carlos Fuentes assert the continuing vigour of Latin American fiction’ Stephen Henighan, Times Literary Supplement