Ines Arredondo (1928-1989) published just three slim volumes of stories over twenty-three years, yet her reputation as a great writer, 'a necessary writer', is firmly established in Mexico. Her works dwell on obsessions: erotic love, evil, purity, perversion, prostitution, tragic separation, and death. Most of her characters are involved in ill-fated searches for the Absolute through both excessively passionate and sadomasochistic relationships. Inevitably, the perfect, pure dyad of two youthful lovers is interrupted or corrupted through the interference of a third party (a rival lover or a child), aging, death, or public morality. Set at the beginning of the twentieth century in the tropical northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, the stories collected in "Underground River and Other Stories" focus on female subjectivity. Arredondo's adult male characters are often predators, depraved collectors of adolescent virgins, like the plantation owners in "The Nocturnal Butterflies" and "Shadows in the Shadows" and the dying uncle in "The Shunammite", who is kept alive by incestuous lust.
Since the young female protagonists rarely have fathers to protect them, the only thing standing between them and these lechers are older women. Perversely, these older women act as accomplices-along with the extended family and the Roman Catholic Church-in the sordid age-old traffic in women. "Underground River and Other Stories" is the first appearance of Arredondo's stories in English. Cynthia Steele is an associate professor of Romance languages at the University of Washington and the author of "Politics, Gender, and the Mexican Novel", "1968-1988: Beyond the Pyramid". Elena Poniatowska, who helped Steele choose these stories, is one of the most renowned of Mexico's new generation of writers. Among her works translated into English are "Frida Kahlo: The Camera Seduced", "Massacre in Mexico", and "Dear Diego".
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Number of pages: 130
Weight: 369 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm