21 June 2009

BDT: Ausencia

One theme that reoccurs quite a bit in this collection is the legacy of Latin American dictatorships in the '70s and '80s, specifically those of Uruguary and Argentina. This story, the longest of the collection, concerns an ex-revolutionary in Uruguay. He had developed a relationship with Juliana, a girl from his hometown, and had even introduced her to the struggle against the dictatorship. The one day, she leaves for Montevideo and does not return. Her absence haunts the narrator. Several years on, he returns to the town he grew up in to seek out some isolation while he works on some writing. He begins to visit Juliana's family and gets to become friends with her sister, Carmela.

Without getting too much into the plot of the story, which was quite good, this seemed like a pretty powerful story. There's a certain haunting quality to the coming to terms with what happened under the regime, and also an interesting current of the fluidity of identity.

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