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Introduction: Violation of the Love Story

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pp. xv-xviii

The love story has traditionally been associated with women’s fiction, especially in Latin American countries where its representation has up to the middle of the last century been confined to romantic situations delicately and sensitively portrayed. In a society...

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To Love or to Ingest

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pp. 1-8

I am going to the local supermarket. It’s on several floors and sells everything from a box of pins to a motorboat. What I like most is to arrive – there are two entrances on the ground floor – with a list in my pocket of all the things to buy for Ana’s visit. At first I had imagined that...

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English Love

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pp. 9-16

M came on Sunday – no, not Sunday, Saturday. There I was, Nora García, eating with my mother, when the black dog – a chow chow – howls and warns us that something is there, under the door. The maid picks it up and hands it to me; it’s probably one of those advertisements trying to sex up the sale of a fridge, Christmas...

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The Fall

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pp. 17-32

“Holy Mother, it’s still raining – bloody, Holy Mary. Why does it rain so much?” Words too harsh for the soft voice, for the sweet saliva, that taste of humble black sounds. That’s why he’s only thinking them: he could never say them aloud. Though just the thought is bad enough, too ugly for the white...

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The Sea from the Window

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pp. 33-3

There are thirteen people in the hospital ward. All display inconceivable blemishes and monstrous deformations; slaves all to rare illnesses, condemned to a life of suffering. They have been living here for some time, most likely will never leave. There are no letters, presents, or visits for them; that’s the way it is. Still, the outside world does...

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Young Amatista

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pp. 39-48

The girls’ mound of Venus is still almost bald, except for two or three hairs that have just sprouted. The hairs appeared on both Amatista and Mariolina at almost the same time, and they are very proud of them. Let’s listen to the...

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Farewell, My Love

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pp. 49-56

Three vowels, one r, and one l left; it must be possible to find a seven-letter word and win the game. All she has to do is to take another sip of coffee and concentrate for a few minutes, moving the letters around on the stand, and there...

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Immensely Eunice

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pp. 57-66

Eunice was twenty-seven and weighed three hundred pounds. Only a century ago a painter would have employed her as a model, and she could have earned her living by it. These days, however, she had been looking for work over a period of many...

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Golden Days of a Queen of Diamonds

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pp. 67-90

Soon the euphoria will start. The sofa. I will lie down on the sofa of brilliant gold satin and wait. That’s all I can do: wait and see what happens. Slowly I shall reach the full state of euphoria. Slowly. “Piano, pianissimo!” shrieks Miss Aurora...

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In Florence Ten Years Later

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pp. 91-98

It was the same main square with its Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore, the smooth white and dark marble stripes constantly beckoning, inviting you to steep yourself in its intimate structure. Florence, rounded arches and columns stretching...

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Love Story

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pp. 99-110

Teleca could simply not stay in bed. I’m sure she’s chatting away at the door. She leaned out of the balcony. The emptiness in the street hit her. She’s locked herself in the bathroom. She does it to provoke me. “Lupe! Lupe! Lupeee!” Teleca shouted...

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Aunt Mariana

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pp. 111-116

It was very difficult for Aunt Mariana to understand what life had dealt her. She said “life” to give some kind of name to the mountain of coincidences that had settled on her bit by bit, although the total might have presented itself like a fulminating tragedy, in the exhausted condition she had to contend...

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Procession of Love

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pp. 117-124

“You should punish the woman as well,” he said, sobbing. The prison cell was no bigger than his body. They had handcuffed him and told him to remain on his knees. Until he confessed. “Yes, it is love, but you don’t know it.” By the end of the night he drank some milk, lapping like a cat. Filled himself up with the liquid as if sucking the breasts of an acquiescent animal. I am not free yet, he thought...

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Santa Catalina, Arequipa

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pp. 125-142

I have been working in this monastery full-time since they restored it, and all my life centers around it. I know every corner, every nook, and I can tell the age of the various plants of honeysuckle. At times I lovingly caress its rough walls...

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Impossible Story

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pp. 143-148

They were left alone. Laura suddenly felt tired. She sat on the edge of the bed to take her shoes off; made of stiff leather, they seemed to him more rigid than wooden clogs. “I’m going to put some music on,” she said to him. “You’ll love it. Wait a minute.” She went into the bathroom and shut the door. He remained...

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Spick and Span

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pp. 149-156

It all started with the wind – when Margarita told her husband about the wind. He had not yet shut the front door of his house, arm stretched downward toward the handle, eyes gazing into his wife’s eyes. It was as if he could remain forever in this pose. But...

End of the Millennium

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pp. 157-180

Source Acknowledgments

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pp. 181-182

Contributors

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pp. 183-186