Elena Garro - a classic of Latin American literature, using elements of magic realism four years before One Hundred Years Of Solitude was published. A book of episodes, one that leaves the reader with a series of vivid impressions. The colors are bright, the smells pungent, the many characters clearly drawn in a few bold strokes
Elena Garro, Recollections of Things to Come, Trans. by Ruth L. C. Simms, University of Texas Press, 1969. [1950/1963..]
read it at Google Books
This remarkable first novel depicts life in the small Mexican town of Ixtepec during the grim days of the Revolution. The town tells its own story against a variegated background of political change, religious persecution, and social unrest. Elena Garro, who has also won a high reputation as a playwright, is a masterly storyteller. Although her plot is dramatically intense and suspenseful, the novel does not depend for its effectiveness on narrative continuity. It is a book of episodes, one that leaves the reader with a series of vivid impressions. The colors are bright, the smells pungent, the many characters clearly drawn in a few bold strokes. Octavio Paz, the distinguished poet and critic, has written that it "is truly an extraordinnary work, one of the most perfect creations in contemporary Latin American literature."
more here: www.themodernnovel.org/americas/latin-america/mexico/garro/recuerdos/
Elena Garro, First Love & Look for My Obituary: Two Novellas, Trans. by David Unger, Curbstone Press, 1997.
These two novellas are characterized by clarity of style and dramatic presentation of affairs of the heart. In First Love, two tourists befriend German prisoners of war in France, and experience the tension between primal human kindness and social conventions. Look For My Obituary explores a surrealistic, haunting love affair set in a world of arranged marriages. Called the best writer in Mexico today by Emmanuel Caballo, Elena Garro was the winner of the 1996 Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz Prize for women writers in the Spanish language.
Two thematically related long stories, which won Mexico's Sor Juana InÃ¢s de la Cruz Prize, detail in melodramatic and overly digressive fashion the plights of lovers separated by the forces of convention and prejudice. In ""First Love,"" a young woman vacationing in postwar France with her mother falls in love with a German POW, with predictable results. Garro never explains why enemy prisoners on work detail are allowed enough latitude to daily with compassionate tourists, and the story is blemished by such awkward rhapsodizing as ""There was harmony between nature and their pure, agile bodies."" Its companion narrative murkily traces the consequences of an unhappily married man's encounter with a mysterious girl whose disappearance is later explained as her submission to an unwanted arranged marriage. Very slight work that vanishes from your mind the moment you've turned the last page. Surely Sor Juana deserved better. - Kirkus Reviews