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    Translated by Mabel Lee

    Harper Collins, February 2004

    Review by Jennifer Vilches (see her blog)

    This book contains six beautifully crafted short stories built on ordinary events. Crafted more to evoke emotions than tell a tale, these stories range in style from sparse dialogue to rich description of detail.

    The dream-like imagery in the last two stories, "Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather" and "In an Instant," carries you along in a hypnotic stream. "The Temple" starts as a charming journey into the country with newlyweds and slowly turns melancholy. "In the Park" takes place almost entirely in dialogue that is surprisingly effective at conveying nervous regret. "The Cramp" skillfully turns danger into triumph into insignificance. "The Accident" is a masterful demonstration of how a tragic death is a mosaic of different events based on point-of-view.

    The stories are different in style, but the same themes can be seen running through each: memory, change, loss, and family. These short stories are not going to be everyone's cup of tea - if you need a plot, this isn't for you. But if you appreciate beautiful use of language to paint a picture, you'll probably savor this small collection. The translation seems very unobtrusive - you never get jarring feelings of disconnect from the language.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 6/10/05

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