Con Agatha en Estambul by Cristina Fernandez Cubas – A Brief Review

This is yet another of her collections of stories I am reading for an article on the Spanish short story. While all of her stories have an element of the mysterious in them, Con Agatha en Estambul (With Agatha in Estambul) seems to have less and less of it. It almost becomes a device, especially in a story like Con Agatha en Estambul where the suggestion that the ghost of Agatha Christie is giving clues to the narrator about her relationship is so small, you could remove the it. Or in the story El Lugar (The Place) a husband narrates his encounters with his dead wife in his dreams. Are these real encounters or just dreams? Since it is Cubas you are disposed to think of them as real. But either way the story, much like Con Agatha, is really about women becoming who there are supposed to be. And it is in the rich stew of mystery do the characters find what the image of themselves they are trying to construct. It is an apt metaphor for creation of the self. It is that interest that makes her work so intriguing.