Julio Ramón Ribeyro has been widely acclaimed Peru's master storyteller. Until now, however, few of his stories have been translated into English. This volume brings together fifteen stories written during the period 1952-1975, which were collected in the three volumes of La palabra del mudo.
Ribeyro's stories treat the social problems brought about by urban expansion, including poverty, racial and sexual discrimination, class struggles, alienation, and violence. At the same time, elements of the fantastic playfully interrupt some of the stories. As Ribeyro's characters become swept up in circumstances beyond their understanding, we see that the only freedom or dignity left them comes from their own imaginations.
The fifteen stories included here are "Terra Incognita," "Barbara," "The Featherless Buzzards," "Of Modest Color," "The Substitute Teacher," "The Insignia," "The Banquet," "Alienation (An Instructive Story with a Footnote)," "The Little Laid Cow," "The Jacaranda Trees," "Bottles and Men," "Nothing to Do, Monsieur Baruch," "The Captives," "The Spanish," and "Painted Papers."
"For the first time, the 15 selections here give readers in this country an opportunity to see the writer and his work clearly: Although the view is often pretty stark, it is also engaging and provocative."
"A magnificent storyteller, one of the best of Latin America and probably of the Spanish language, unjustly not recognized as such."