13 January 2022, The Tablet

Mind the gap


The Impostor & Other Stories
SILVINA OCAMPO, trans. daniel balderston
(SERPENT’S TAIL, 368 PP, £9.99)
Tablet bookshop price £8.99 • tel 020 7799 4064

Being force-fed the remains of a beloved family pet isn’t a good way to die. Is it a good way to kill? The allure of Silvina Ocampo’s short fiction lies in the raising of unexpected questions again and again. The art of the Argentine poet-novelist’s storytelling rests in leaving those questions unanswered – and unanswerable. We don’t know if the villain of “Mimoso” deserved his bizarre death. We don’t even know if he was a villain. For some authors, the final full stop is the sign of an ending: for Silvina Ocampo, it’s a declaration of war.

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