Tropical Night Falling

Why can’t real life be more like the movies, the novels of the late Manuel Puig persistently ask. Kiss of the Spider Woman played off a drag queen’s taste for extravagantly escapist films against the bloody reality of Argentina’s state-sponsored terrorism. In Tropical Night Falling, his last book, Puig punctures the tropical mystique befuddling three proper ladies from Buenos Aires, exiled (as Puig himself once was) in steamy Rio de Janeiro. Banal dialogue and letters rich in small ironies chart the rising hopes of these women who love too much. Police reports relay the rude awakenings. As in Spider Woman, sex is politics. Men are such oblivious brutes, so apt to run their love affairs and their countries as violent dictatorships, that women have to make believe simply to survive. As a feminist male in the macho world of Latin letters, Puig was unique and irreplaceable. Tropical Night Falling (the line has a tango beat) refines soap opera into opera pure and simple. A

Tropical Night Falling
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