Book by RICARDO PIGLIA Translated from Spanish by SERGIO WAISMAN Reviewed by OLGA ZILBERBOURG
The year is 1972. Tony Durán, a Puerto Rican-born adventurer and professional gambler from New Jersey, is found dead in his hotel room soon after arriving in a small town in Buenos Aires Province with a leather bag full of dollars. Dark-skinned, he spoke Spanish with a Caribbean accent. Rumors of his ménage à trois with Ada and Sofía Belladona, twin daughters of a prominent local landowner, have scandalized the town. Inspector Croce investigates.
So begins Argentine writer Ricardo Piglia’s fourth novel, Target in the Night, as detective fiction. Who killed Tony Durán and why? A gambling plot, the love triangle? Could one of the Belladona sisters have soured on the tripartite arrangement? My next guess: Racism? Durán is “a mulatto who shows up in a place where the last black people had disappeared—or dispersed until they blended completely into the landscape—fifty years earlier.”
A little man walks
Through the golden dust
It is a summer’s morning
A morning fresh and mild
As other mornings, other sorrows
He walks across roads
Where no one else walks
With a tiny wooden coffin
Tucked under his arm
Book by HARUKI MURAKAMI Translated JAY RUBIN and PHILIP GABRIEL Reviewed by EMILY GRECKI
Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 is no meager feat. At nine hundred twenty-five pages, published as three volumes in Japan, two in the UK, and one here in the US, it is the grandest novel he has yet undertaken.
The novel primarily alternates between the stories of two characters, Aomame (the name means “green peas” in Japanese) and Tengo.
Aomame works as a fitness instructor, but is also a secret assassin. Originally motivated by the murder of a childhood friend, who died at the hands of her abusive husband, Aomame created a weapon that leaves no traces. She is recruited by a wealthy widow, who runs a safe-house for battered women, to use this weapon to take the lives of abusive men who cannot be incapacitated through other means. On the way to complete one of the widow’s jobs, Aomame is forced to take a detour on foot off a traffic-jammed highway. After climbing down a rickety service staircase, Aomame realizes the world around her has changed. The policemen carry different weapons and there is a slaughter that she never remembers reading about in the newspapers. Two moons hang in the sky. She is no longer in the 1984 she knows; she dubs her new reality 1Q84.