A book for the deck chair: “Parajes”, by Cristina Iglesia

“Parajes” (Nudist), by Cristina Iglesia, recommended by Graciela Batticuore

Sometimes love has erratic or fleeting forms, others definitely indelible. Be it love for a lost or dead man, whose face is mirrored in that of some unknown stranger, in some unforeseen place in the world. In other words, love for a city, a region, a town, a coastal province like Corrientes or an island lost among the hills, where a woman has spent her childhood and has known fear, desire, the land, water, fire. Places is the third book of stories by Cristina Church, as small in volume as it is intense in emotions, where each episode leads to the most genuine happiness or the most palpable pain.

A horse thrashing wildly on the ground during a nap in the field beyond the gates. Children so poor that even when they play they seem dead, or a man who collapses in front of the telephone in a parlor in the Balvanera neighborhood where the protagonist lives, an inveterate traveler around the world, ready to observe everything as if she were a voyeur that looks for in the other people’s imitations of the own. Because this time it is not about a tourist but rather about an exile who may never have left, but who travels distant cities seeking to alleviate sadness or the amputated part of his own life, with the conviction that there is nothing worse than indifference or forgetfulness. Nothing worse than to stop feeling the intensity of the carnivals of comparsas in Goya, at the age of twenty. There is nothing better than dyeing an entire story fiery red, speaking of altars erected by the faithful on the side of a route to honor Gauchito Gil, patron saint of travelers and the needy.

From the coastal towns to the Once neighborhood where this traveler rests or writes from time to time; From Mercedes to New York, to Paris, to Berlin or to Rome, where he goes to look and listen to speak in other languages, intimacy is always full of neighbor for this narrator. Also of the silence that the mountains or the ineffable river opened in the successive returns to the childhood places. With Currents and just then, published by the Beatriz Viterbo publishing house a few years ago, this new book of stories by Cristina Church consolidates a style, a voice of her own or a completely unique author’s tone, which leaves a mark on contemporary Argentine narrative. Summer seems a very propitious occasion to fully enter into the scorching power of its pages.

* Graciela Heartbeat She is a writer, researcher, teacher. He has just published his novel by editorial Conejos The shell. He directs the Lector & s collection at Ampersand.


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