Translated from Spanish by Katherine Silver
Mario Vargas Llosa referred to Juan Carlos Onetti as “one of the great modern writers, not only in Latin America.” A hero to the likes of Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez and a vital forbearer to magical realism, Onetti won the Cervantes Prize in 1980. A Dream Come True, beautifully translated by Katherine Silver, gathers Onetti’s entire body of short fiction into English for the first time.
Onetti’s characters drift untethered, through strange places with unfamiliar people. A woman idles in a beachside hotel during a prolonged convalescence; a grandmother serves café-con-leche to schoolboys resembling her lost grandson. In these mysterious, dream-like stories, everything is gestured at, nothing plainly told. Each offers a brief glimpse into the life of one of Onetti’s vast cast of unusual characters, intimately rendering their sorrows, fears, and joys.
"An intoxicating cocktail of solitude, frustrated desire, smoldering anger, defeat, and despair, invariably served with a twist. Somehow (these stories) cheer me up."
— Edwin Frank, Words Without Borders
"Every tale in (A Dream Come True) has the air of a detective story; it is guesswork. Characters tell tales, of themselves and of others; read traces and clues; listen to gossip; gather the pieces of the puzzling stories...When you read Onetti, you will find that time stops in order that you may explore its meaning. And at those moments, life will seem richer and more intense."
— Christina Soto van der Plas, Public Books
Archipelago Books 2019