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The Wake
by Margo Glantz
Binding: Paperback, First Trade edition, 124 pages
Publisher: Curbstone Press
Weight: 0.45 pound
Dimension: H: 0.75 x L: 8.4 x W: 0.49 inches
ISBN 10: 1931896232
ISBN 13: 9781931896238
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Book Description:

'What do I feel?' asks the narrator, Nora Garc a, as she goes back to a Mexican village she has not visited in years to attend the funeral of her ex husband, a famous pianist who has died of a massive heart attack. This deeply moving novel is the unspoken answer to Nora's self questioning. 'The heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of,' Pascal said, and this aphorism of knowing and not knowing is at the core of the novel. Employing motifs of 'the heart,' modes of music from the tango to Bach, and allusions to poetry, the text is a rich amalgam that reveals a life lived deep within the culture of the late twentieth century.

Like her ex husband, Nora is a musician, a cellist, and so it is fitting that her novel takes the form of a canon and fugue: phrases circle and repeat, variations are introduced, motifs come and go and intermingle, reflecting a paralysis of the grieving.

The novel moves inexorably toward the burial and the revelation of Nora's complex, emotional reaction to Juan's death. Throughout the novel, Nora is moving in the 'wake' of that death, being pulled along by the ceremonies of the funeral, the mass, the burial and her grief and rage, suppressed, never spoken of, is made palpable to the reader through the indirection of memories. For her rich, nuanced evocation of states of mind and emotion, Margo Glantz can stand proudly alongside such modern masters as Virginia Woolf and William Gass.

One of the most prolific and respected authors of Mexico, Margo Glantz is not only a distinguished award winning novelist, but also renowned as a lecturer, critic, journalist, and translator. She teaches literature at the National University of Mexico and has been a resident writer and scholar at various universities in the United States, including Yale, Harvard, and Princeton universities.


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