A skillfully crafted combination of reality and imagination that is both ethically complex and surprisingly relevant.
By Martín Kohan ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 5, 2023
This fictionalized retelling of Argentina’s darkest period from 1976-’83 is composed as a triptych, exploring the mental and emotional impacts of the regime on everyday people. In the first section, “Mercedes,” readers are taken on a journey of 12-year-old Mirta López’s sexual awakening, sparked by the future dictator Jorge Rafaél Videla. Hinting descriptions of Argentina’s “old water cartography, canals and bends, unspoken tunnels” link this section to the second, “Airport,” which follows a group of Marxist guerrillas as they attempt to assassinate Videla. The final section, “Plaza Mayor,” is a game of cards between Mirta and her grandson, as they discuss the past. Through his propulsive and unsparing prose, Kohan suggests that truth lies somewhere between official record and popular memory, and that reality is thorny, ambiguous, and fully human in its messiness.
Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023
Page Count: 150
Publisher: Charco Press
Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023