Imagined Icebergs has a review of Ana Maria Matute’s Celebration in the Northwest. Since her work is more or less out of print it is good to see a review of her work. She won the Cervantes prize last year so she is getting some deserved reappraisal.
The most enjoyable thing about this book is Matute’s rather twisted but beautiful descriptions and comparisons. Here, for example, is part of protagonist Juan Medinao’s perception of his mother when he is a child: “The black beads of her rosary, like a caravan of ants on a business trip to her soul, looped over her wrist where her blood pulsed erratically.” Or, on first encountering a young priest: “As he watched him, Juan experienced a feeling similar to that which came over him before he ate a baby partridge.”