Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories by Mariana Enriquez, is a collection of twelve short stories about life in Argentina.
I love the daring, creepy, and even macabre stories written in this collection. Like contemporary Latina lit meets Victorian Gothic novel. Some episodes, I was glad were over and others I wanted more, to know what happened but the story just ended and left me wondering. The characters are rich in personality within even a few pages which attests to Mariana Enriquez’ masterful storytelling. The history and culture revealed in the stories and characters are exciting for me and I kept reading, sometimes late into the night, like binge-watching a favorite series. I do love how the entire book theme seems to be about women and girls and their experiences, memories, fears, and love. The male characters take a backseat as supporting characters. Women have a voice in these stories.
In these wildly imaginative, devilishly daring tales of the macabre, internationally bestselling author Mariana Enriquez brings contemporary Argentina to vibrant life as a place where shocking inequality, violence, and corruption are the law of the land, while military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory. In these stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortázar, three young friends distract themselves with drugs and pain in the midst a government-enforced blackout; a girl with nothing to lose steps into an abandoned house and never comes back out; to protest a viral form of domestic violence, a group of women set themselves on fire.
But alongside the black magic and disturbing disappearances, these stories are fueled by compassion for the frightened and the lost, ultimately bringing these characters—mothers and daughters, husbands and wives—into a surprisingly familiar reality. Written in hypnotic prose that gives grace to the grotesque, Things We Lost in the Fire is a powerful exploration of what happens when our darkest desires are left to roam unchecked, and signals the arrival of an astonishing and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.
About the Author:
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.