My Tender Matador by Pedro Lemebel: [In which The Queen of the Corner does whatever it takes to be with the handsome and militant Carlos. And a Chilean dictator loses his grip on the country.]Further Readings:
A couple of years ago I had to move house. My landlord wanted to sell the flat, a flat I’d been living in for the past three years, a place that had, from the start, felt like home. I figured that if I had to move, I would move! I had visions of hitting the road with just a backpack of clothes and books. Nothing is a must-have. It is easy to leave everything behind. The hardest thing to walk out on would be my books. I rely on them to keep writing; their presence on my shelf is often enough. If I had to take ten with me, ten books I couldn’t do without, the ones I’d reread to reaffirm my choice of living as a writer, the books that keep teaching me about the power and outer reaches of the imagination, books that reassure and remind me of the work ahead, among them I’d take My Tender Matador, for it’s tenderness and its squalid glamour. Pedro Lemebel’s novel is the camp, sequined gay younger brother of The Feast of the Goat. Besides being a political drama, it is also the story of every gay boy who has loved a straight guy, the kind of love that’ll make you do anything to be close to him, defy anyone – God, family, you name it – regardless of reciprocity or a blowjob. Favourite scene: The Queen of the Corner talks her way through a line of soldiers while carrying illegal weapons in her bag. --Shaun Levin
My Tender Matador by Pedro Lemebel
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Grove Press (February 10, 2005)
Amazon: My Tender Matador
Amazon Kindle: My Tender Matador
Centered around the 1986 attempt on the life of Augusto Pinochet, an event that changed Chile forever, My Tender Matador is one of the most explosive, controversial, and popular novels to have been published in that country in decades. It is spring 1986 in the city of Santiago, and Augusto Pinochet is losing his grip on power. In one of the city's many poor neighborhoods works the Queen of the Corner, a hopeless and lonely romantic who embroiders linens for the wealthy and listens to boleros to drown out the gunshots and rioting in the streets. Along comes Carlos, a young, handsome man who befriends the aging homosexual and uses his house to store mysterious boxes and hold clandestine meetings. My Tender Matador is an extraordinary novel of revolution and forbidden love, and a stirring portrait of Chile at an historical crossroads. By turns funny and profoundly moving, Pedro Lemebel's lyrical prose offers an intimate window into the mind of Pinochet himself as the world of Carlos and the Queen prepares to collide with the dictator's own in a fantastic and unexpected way.
More Spotlights at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels
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