A Perfect Cemetery (Un cementerio perfecto)
Translated into English by Jennifer Croft
FINALIST OF THE GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ SHORT STORY PRIZE
In the middle of a blizzard a widow is looking out at the ruin of her late-husband’s garden, when suddenly she sees a woman running naked in the falling snow. After telling her parents she is abandoning her Christian faith, a girl becomes infatuated with a Mormon missionary who reminds her of a boy killed in her village years before. When his family’s home is lost, a father desperately offers his daughter’s hand in marriage to anyone who will take them in. And a town’s mayor tries to fulfil his father’s dying wish: to design the perfect cemetery.
In a series of interlinked stories written in disarming, darkly humorous prose, Federico Falco explores themes of obsessive love, romantic attachment and the strategies we must find to cope with death and painful longing.
“The succinctness of the plotlines in these stories is inversely proportional to their vast narrative expanse, to everything the writing is able to carve out between the sharply curtailed dialogues and all that simmers underneath.” Soledad Quereilhac, La Nación (Argentina)
“Perfectly honed... [Falco’s] skill is apparent in the originality of these plots, the economy and naturalness of the characters’ conversations, and in the meticulous observation of a gesture that may encapsulate whole central motifs.” Graciela Speranza, Ñ Magazine (Argentina)
“Extraordinary quality” Rodrigo Pinto, El Mercurio (Chile)