Cover image for Citizen Suarez
Citizen Suarez
Verdecchia, Guillermo.
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Publication Information:
Burnaby, B.C. : Talonbooks, 1998.
Physical Description:
157 pages ; 22 cm
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Guillermo Verdecchia is primarily known for his award-winning plays; Citizen Suárez is his first book of short stories, and it is a remarkable debut.

These stories take on the quintessential issues forced upon a generation betrayed by their citizenship--a betrayal the more profound because it subsists primarily in the global death of the nation-state. These are stories about people travelling, wandering or lost between countries and languages--people caught between the impulse to flee and the desire to belong. Sex, geography and politics grip the protagonists of these pieces, demanding promises, compromises and resolutions. These are stories about power--personal, civic, sexual, filial, political--and how, lubricious, it slips between the fingers. Quiet, careful, witty, they document and celebrate survival--consolations, complicities and accommodations in the face of indifference, cruelty and fear. The characters of these stories are known to the reader, intimately known, because they are revealed to us in the way that only we know ourselves--in those darkest recesses of the desires and fears we imagine, we hide from others, and thus, also from those we love. Most astonishing of all for a writer venturing into a new genre for the first time is the elegant surety of his style--Verdecchia speaks in these stories with the fatalistic lyricism of Lorca, the philosophical ambiguity of Paz, and the emotional scalpel of Márquez.

Author Notes

Guillermo Verdecchia
Guillermo Verdecchia is a writer of drama, fiction, and film; a director, dramaturge, actor and translator whose work has been seen and heard on stages, screens, and radios across the country and around the globe. He is a recipient of the Governor General's Award for Drama, a four-time winner of the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, a recipient of Dora and Jessie Awards, and sundry film festival awards for his film Crucero / Crossroads .

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Award-winning playwright Verdecchia has published in such journals as grain, Geist, and Prism; some of those stories and a half dozen others are collected here. In the title story, a 13-year-old boy resists taking on "automatic" Canadian citizenship when his parents are naturalized; meanwhile, infidelities erode the family, whose homeland is unidentified. Verdecchia uses this technique often, leaving details of setting unclear. In "The Necktie Revolution," the pomp surrounding the death of La Senora, El Presidente's wife, suggests Argentina, and the burst of revolution and then repression set off when a quiet engineering student wears a garish tie with his black mourning suit also recalls that country's history. But which country is Ixturria, in "Peace in Ixturria," where the idle rich who left during "the war" return to find puzzling anomalies within their old crowd? And "A Day in The Life of Thomas Macomber" explores a disconnected family in what appears to be the U.S. Readers with any interest in other cultures will relish these stories. --Mary Carroll