Childhood does not last long in the Argentine mountains of Córdoba, and adult lives fall apart quickly. Federico Falco explores themes of obsessive love, romantic attachment and the strategies we must find to cope with death and painful longing.
A brief collection, no story stretching beyond 45 wide-margined pages, and can easily be enjoyed in a single sitting. But try to resist such temptation. Every word and sentence, including those of Croft’s sincere and illuminating note 'On Conversation' that concludes the volume, should be savored, consumed in a rush only during those moments when you’re flying down the summer streets with Silvi on her bicycle as she searches for the boy she believes she loves.
In five impeccably crafted short stories, Argentine writer Federico Falco displays his distinctive gift for distilling and dramatising the quietude of rurality to generate—from such ostensibly minor landscapes—an intense and varied portrait of life on the geographical periphery ... Falco’s fiction cohesively articulates—as the book’s intellectual and emotional pleasure—retreat as a way of life against the hedonism of pursuit ... One of the most affecting powers of Falco’s prose is his uncanny ability to world an ecological landscape ... We endear to Falco’s characters not because they offer themselves up to us transparently, like so many verbose and erudite narrators and protagonists of contemporary fiction ... One walks away from these stories with the rare feeling that their allure emanates from their intense guarding of one’s interiority; we root for their restraint and reservation—their allegiance to place, not people—and are rewarded when, in carefully timed moments, they put aside their enigma, allowing us a glimpse at the tenderness that had hitherto remained private ... Here is writing which transforms provincialism into the province of fiction, drama, and ultimately, nourishment, stories which have perfected the art of refusal.
A collection of mordant and finely crafted stories in which characters lose their faith, fall headlong into romantic obsession, and challenge the strains of familial obligation ... straightforward in plot and yet unfold with narrative richness and ambition, depicting a landscape that is as vivid and alive as the characters who inhabit it ... Sharp, natural, and often humorous dialogue is rendered expertly through translator Croft’s finely tuned ear to colloquial Argentinian Spanish, and places are described with a richness that evokes the protagonists’ psychological depths, recalling the stories of Juan Rulfo and Julio Cortázar ... Expansive and ingeniously crafted—an unforgettable collection.