Viewing entries tagged
Chad Felix

Chico Buarque’s <br><i>My German Brother</i>

Chico Buarque’s
My German Brother

Reviewed by Chad Felix

Deep within My German Brother, Chico Buarque’s rich and inventive new novel, the narrator Ciccio, the youngest son of a respected literary family, announces that he’s “almost beginning to believe the things [he] made up.” The statement’s directness underscores its starkness: because his older (Brazilian) brother is gone, their mother is grieving by constructing a world in which her eldest child is still alive, “now drinking hot chocolate in the Café Tortoni, now strolling trough Plaza San Martín, now greeting a blind poet on Calle Maipú.” Ciccio plays along, making things up in an effort to soften the blow, half-believing . . .

Mauro Javier Cardenas' <br><i>The Revolutionaries Try Again</i>

Mauro Javier Cardenas'
The Revolutionaries Try Again

Reviewed by Chad Felix

A minor miracle has happened in a port town sorely in need of miracles: Guayaquil, Ecuador. Last Palm Sunday, we are told, lightning strikes a phone booth, transforming the city’s best public telephone (“The one public phone at the Calderón that doesn’t filch your coins”) into the city’s only affordable one: in fact, it is connecting people with their friends and family for free. You can speak to them for nothing at all. As far as miracles go, this is a pretty small one: a phone is malfunctioning. But Mauro Javier Cardenas begins his extraordinary debut The Revolutionaries Try Again—a book rife with miracles both useless and unbelievable (elsewhere, a baby Christ effigy weeps a torrent of tears; elsewhere, thousands claim to have experienced the movement of the sun, which is in awe of an Earthly appearance of the Virgin) —here, with a small service to the Ecuadorean people . . .