Book Review: Suppose a Sentence

It’s an experience that will be familiar to avid readers everywhere: you’re making smooth progress through a book, until suddenly a passage or sentence stops you in your tracks.

Book Review: Ornamental

by Kit Maude “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake,” James Joyce’s protagonist famously says in Ulysses. Reading Ornamental by Juan Cárdenas, a rising star on the Colombian literary scene, one begins to suspect that he took Stephen Dedalus’s statement about history quite literally. Goodness knows that Colombian history has its fair share of nightmares (what country’s doesn’t?), and many find their way into this sparkling novella, explicitly or otherwise. The novel begins with the personal notes of a pharmaceutical scientist as he tests out a new drug on four female subjects. The opening scene is…

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By: Kit Maude

Eckersley had a loopy artist in her guest room and a boy begging at her door. Both were proving to be troublesome. The artist was loopy in the sense that he was probably insane, but also because he was stuck in a loop. Like the beggar boy, he appeared one day at Eckersley’s door announcing that he had a new performance project that he hoped to rehearse in Eckersley’s guest room. Because he was an old friend of Eckersley’s he was allowed in. He refused to say much about the performance.

The beggar boy came to Eckersley’s door at least once a week asking for clothes, food, and anything he might be able to sell. Also money, of course. Sometimes, usually, Eckersley gave him something, but sometimes she didn’t happen to have anything on her, or was in a bad mood. Occasionally, she was simply irritated by this boy who came so regularly to demand things for nothing.