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Pedro Paaramo
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First published in Mexico in 1955, Rulfo's ( The Burning Plain and Other Stories ) only novelpk is a modern classic. The opening of this brief yet complex work is deceptively simple: Juan Preciado has promised his dying mother that he will visit Comala, her hometown, and search for his father, Pedro Paramo. His mother's words lead Juan to expect a ``beautiful view of a green plain,'' but instead he finds a ghost town and learns that Pedro is already dead. Commingling past and present, obliterating the boundary between life and death (spirits walk the earth and corpses converse in their graves), the story depicts this small town ``at the very mouth of hell'' and Pedro, a man whom one local resident describes as ``living bile.'' An autocratic and amoral patron, Pedro resorted to deception, thievery and murder to get what he wanted. Yet the thing he wanted most--the love of Susana San Juan--remained forever out of reach as Susana, desolated by the loss of her first husband, retreated into madness and then into death. Peden's lucid translation does justice to a tale that is firmly rooted in its own culture yet so fundamentally human in its focus that it speaks across cultural borders. (Sept.)


"A strange, brooding novel. . . . Great immediacy, power, and beauty." --The Washington Post

"A powerful fascination . . . vivid and haunting; the style is a triumph." --New York Herald Tribune "When Susan Sontag, in her foreword to this book, calls Pedro P ramo 'one of the masterpieces of 20th-century world literature, ' she is not being hyperbolic. With its dense interweaving of time, its routine interaction of the living and the dead, its surreal sense of the everyday, and with simultaneous--and harmonious--coexistence of apparently incompatible realities, this brief novel by the Mexican writer Juan Rulfo strides through unexplored territory with a sure and determined step. . . . Having it now in all its depth and texture is a major event for which the publisher and the translator, Margaret Sayers Peden, deserve thanks." --James Polk, New York Times Book Review "No reader interested in the vitality of 20th century Latin American fiction can afford to miss this work." --Rockwell Gray, Chicago Tribune "As close to perfect as a piece of writing gets." --Sheila Farr, Seattle Weekly "A modern classic. . . . Peden's lucid translation does justice to a tale that is firmly rooted in its own culture yet so fundamentally human in its focus that it speaks across cultural borders." --Publishers Weekly

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