From one of Argentina's greatest contemporary storytellers comes twenty-five short stories in English for the first time. The collection draws together Uhart's vignettes of quotidian life - moments at the zoo, the hair salon, or a cacophonous homeowners association meeting - and her unique perspective on life in South America.
These thirty-eight short stories function like a panopticon, each dipping into one person’s purview and leaving after capturing the briefest impression. Poised somewhere between narrative and sense memory, Uhart’s lens looks into sundry lives and renders the act of surveillance both venal and holy ... Much like the people the collection is concerned with, these stories occupy an intermediary space. They are completely fulfilled in their individual arcs and interstitial within the greater picture they create. They don’t offer answers or even questions so much as momentary glimpses of the incidents that provoke both ... Shaughnessy’s translation is seamless at it transfers Uhart’s material into colloquial English, making it easy to fall into the rhythms of the characters’ lives and the coded emotions that idioms encapsulate ... Uhart suspects, loves, and laughs at each of his characters in equal measure because he knows that, when it comes to the array of human emotion and motivation, 'one person’s freedom ends where another’s begins.'
... nothing much happens. Rather than full-fledged narratives, these vignettes capture the feel—the sounds, sights, and scents—of everyday life in one of Latin America’s great cities and its surrounding areas ... The wonder of Uhart’s writing is that, in spite of the loneliness pervading the stories, reading them does not leave us sad. Even the characters who lead the dullest lives often find delight in everyday things ... Uhart’s stories, filled with peculiar but familiar characters, are like wildflowers by the side of the road—easy to overlook if you’re not paying attention, yet delicate and beautiful.
The mostly female characters, levelheaded yet sensitive, generally undergo a change, but the stories eschew plot development for mood creation and generally do not end with a twist. Instead, they end quietly and subtly because that’s all Uhart has to say. Though the length varies from two to more than 30 pages, the shorter ones are exquisite because of their simplicity and singular purpose ... These stories cover a broad spectrum of situations and will appeal to a wide range of readers. A remarkable introduction to one of the unsung women writers of Argentine letters.