The Letter from Buenos Aires
Number of pages
***Short-listed for the Télérama France-Culture Prize***
Exceptional texts, wonderfully written.
These carefully crafted short stories, each with a distinct central character, are tales of wandering and exile, of profound solitude, and, just when it is needed most, of friendship.
The stories in The Letter from Buenos Aires are connected not by their characters but by their sense of intimacy, tragedy, and unexpected help from friends and strangers.
In the first story, a man who lives alone by the sea watches two men disappear into the dark water. In a story entitled, “The Beauty of Things,” a man and a teenager spend an evening witnessing the majestic scenery of the mountains. In “On the Bridge,” two friends are seated in their usual place at the top of an icy torrent, when they realize that nothing is ever going to be the same again now that one boy’s mother has passed away.
In other stories, a ship docks in Port-au-Prince, but no one will be allowed to go ashore; two soldiers, cold and exhausted, cross paths on their return home; an old man with short memories and a fondness for feathers wants to testify at a trial but is not able to; and two brothers, bound together for life, decide to embark on a nautical adventure. In the final, title story, a man returns to Europe after having lived in Argentina. He remembers his last trip to Buenos Aires, where he wrote a letter to the son he has never met. In each of these nine stories, Hubert Mingarelli reveals the mystery of each character with subtlety and poetry.
Hubert Mingarelli : A self-taught world traveler, Hubert Mingarelli joined the French merchant marines at seventeen. When he returned to France, he settled in a small village in the French Alps. He is the author of several novels including the 2003 Prix Médicis winner Quatre soldats (Four Soldiers) and L’Année du soulèvement, published in 2010 by Le Seuil.