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Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 112
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    "Right from the start I picked her for a thief, although that day she didn't take anything. . . . I knew she'd be back," the narrator/bookseller ofSeverinarecalls in this novel's opening pages. Imagine a dark-haired book thief as alluring as she is dangerous. Imagine the mesmerized bookseller secretly tracking the volumes she steals, hoping for insight into her character, her motives, her love life. In Rodrigo Rey Rosa's hands, this tale of obsessive love is told with almost breathless precision and economy. The bookstore owner is soon entangled in Severina's mystery: seductive and peripatetic, of uncertain nationality, she steals books to actually read them and to share with her purported grandfather, Señor Blanco.In this unsettling exploration of the alienating and simultaneously liberating power of love, the bookseller's monotonous existence is rocked by the enigmatic Severina. As in a dream, the disoriented man finds that the thin border between rational and irrational is no longer reliable.Severinaconfirms Rey Rosa's privileged place in contemporary world literature.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-20849-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xvi)

    Readers who look to Central American literature for baroque exuberance, perhaps with the prestigious precedent of Miguel Angel Asturias in mind, are likely to be surprised by the Guatemalan Rodrigo Rey Rosa. His fiction is the opposite of lush: generally spare in style, restrained in its exploration of the characters’ inner worlds, and elliptical in structure. Moreover it tends to be somber in tone. These descriptive formulas might, in North America, suggest that Rey Rosa belongs to the numerous offspring of Hemingway, but that would be a somewhat misleading impression, for he is not a writer who begins from a...

  4. Severina
    (pp. 1-86)

    I noticed her the first time she came in the store, and right from the start I picked her for a thief, although that day she didn’t take anything.

    On Monday afternoons there were usually poetry readings at La Entretenida, the bookstore I’d recently opened with a group of friends. We didn’t have anything better to do and we were tired of paying through the nose for books chosen by and for others, as “eccentrics” like us are forced to do in provincial cities. (There are far more serious problems here, but I don’t want to talk about all that...

    (pp. 87-88)
  6. Back Matter
    (pp. 89-89)