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  • Diálogo de voces: Nuevas lecturas sobre la obra de María Rosa Lojo ed. by Marcela Crespo Buiturón
  • Stephanie Pridgeon
Crespo Buiturón, Marcela, editora. Diálogo de voces: Nuevas lecturas sobre la obra de María Rosa Lojo. Editorial Acontracorriente, 2018. 234 pp.

Marcela Crespo Buiturón ends the volume Diálogo de voces: Nuevas lecturas sobre la obra de María Rosa Lojo with a conversation with the author that seeks to recapitulate the essays' focus on various facets of identity in Lojo's works. Lojo offers a comment that, in a sense, summarizes the book: "No conozco otra vida que no sea la de frontera" (191). Likewise, the essays included in the volume consider the ways in which Lojo's oeuvre expands categories of identity, genre, language, form, and nationality. The volume sparks productive conversations on literary forms and their connections to national and transnational literary traditions.

Jorge Bracamonte's essay, "Conjetura de un espacio de condensación de una poética", focuses on Lojo's microfiction, to argue that the author both conforms with precepts of the genre of microfiction as well as innovates them. Bracamonte provides a reading of Lojo's "Golpeando las puertas del cielo" to show that the text's "poetic, oneiric, symbolic density" is what allows Lojo to renew forms of microfiction (11). From there, Bracamonte draws parallels between "Golpeando las puertas del cielo" and other microstories to argue that Lojo expands on traditions of micro-fiction, specifically the genre's characteristic ambiguities and condensation.

In the book's next chapter, "Memorias de la inmigración en la narrativa latino-americana contemporánea: Lectura comparada de Árbol de familia (2010), de María Rosa Lojo, y Nihonjin (2011), de Oscar Nakasato," Antonio R. Esteves places Lojo's novel Árbol de familia (2010) in dialogue with Japanese-Brazilian author Oscar Nakasato's Nihonjin (2011). Esteves's rationale for this type of analysis stems from their shared engagement with the theme of family histories of immigration. In keeping with the previous chapter's focus on Lojo's balance between innovation and tradition, Esteves underscores the ways in which Lojo brings her family's heritage into her narrative approach by incorporating elements of Galician myths as well as Spanish paratexts. Both Árbol de familia and Nihonjin, in Esteves's estimation, overcome the trauma of exile and displacement by cultivating memory that is "reconciled, pacified, and happy" (38). Esteves's comparative reading of the two novels contextualizes Lojo's work within cultural production focused on memory and immigration beyond Argentina's borders.

Malva E. Filer continues the previous chapters' focus on autobiography and genre to discuss the figure of the Galician father in Lojo's work in "El padre [End Page 616] Gallego como personaje en la autoficción de María Rosa Lojo." Filer's concise yet exhaustive look at Lojo's narrative over the decades shows how the figure of the father has transformed throughout Lojo's oeuvre and Galicia comes to serve as a bridge between father and daughter. Filer pays particular attention to how Lojo's most recent novel, Todos éramos hijos, fits into the broader panorama of recent Argentine fiction focused on 1970s militancy and the so-called "nueva narrativa argentina" in the novel's use of autofiction. (Filer does not use this term explicitly, despite citing Elsa Drucaroff's Prisioneros de la torre that theorizes "nueva narrativa argentina.") The contrasts that Filer presents between Lojo's use of testimonial and autofictional approaches to narrating the 1970s with Pilar Calveiro are particularly useful for situating Lojo within the ubiquitous critical debates on memories of political militancy in twenty-first-century Argentine cultural production.

Next, Leonardo Graná focuses on Lojo's engagement with historical fiction in Finisterre in his chapter, "'Tal vez lo que deseaba era, simplemente, lo imposible'. Presencia, ausencia y resolución de la falta en Finisterre, de María Rosa Lojo." Graná's reading of Finisterre takes as a point of departure the premise that historical fiction, in addition to providing a contemporary lens on the past, also uses the past to reflect on the present. Focusing on absence, loss, and identity, Graná analyzes protagonist...