Three Messages and a Warning
Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic
Publication Date: December 2011
A radical combination of emerging and established Mexican authors of original tales of the fantastic.
By turns creepy, self-consciously literary, and engagingly inventive, these 34 stories selected by translator-scholar Jiménez Mayo and writer-critic Brown offer some excellent and ghastly surprises. . . . These are punchy, ghoulish selections by south-of-the-border writers unafraid of the dark.”
Encompassing a definition of fantasy that includes the extraterrestrial, the supernatural, the macabre, and the spectral, these stories are set in unusual locales and deal with bizarre characters. All are very short (some just two pages), and most offer a surprise twist at the end, though occasionally the only reaction these endings may elicit from the reader is Huh?” The universal scope of the themes transcends the Mexican provenance; for example, one detects an apocalyptic influence in Liliana V. Blum’s Pink Lemonade,” and Argentine Julio Cortázar’s Bestiary” influences Bernardo Fernández’s Lions.” Most of the volume’s 34 authors, half of whom are women, are relatively unknown to American readers, and for many of them, publication in this anthology represents their first exposure to an English-reading audience. The translations, several of which were done by the editors, convey the individuality, if not idiosyncrasies, of these tales. VERDICT This collection will appeal mostly to fans of fantasy and sf and, to a lesser degree, those interested in contemporary Mexican literature.”
Langorous, edgy, sumptuously beautiful by turns, Three Messages expands our understanding of contemporary Mexican literary production, collapsing high-low boundaries and pre-established ideas about national identity.”
Debra Castillo, Emerson Hinchliff Professor of Spanish Literature, Cornell University