RARA-AVIS: Non-US Writers

Mon, 27 Jul 1998 15:10:28 EDT I am a lurker by nature, but the recent thread on non-US writers prompts me to
come out of the shadows. The following writers, in my opinion at least, are
hard-boiled, even noirish, and they certainly tell good stories, deserving of
better than my summaries below. These writers are available in the US, in
English, in paperback.

Paco Ignacio Taibo, II--born in Spain, lives in Mexico, has several detective
novels published; usual protagonist is Hector Belascoaran Shayne, one-eyed PI
from Mexico City who was killed off in one novel and resurrected in another
without apologies from Taibo. Taibo, by the way, is the major force behind
"Semana Negra" held every summer in Gijon, Spain under the auspices of the
International Crime Writers Association. This ten day festival brings
together writers of the "novela negra" from around the world. The writers
entertain the crowd (more likely, themselves) in the midst of a full-blown
carnival, surreal parades through the tourist jammed streets, and nightly rock
or jazz concerts. When I participated, back in 1995, the authors included Ian
Rankin, Chaz Brenchley, Tom Adcock, Luis Sepulveda, Susan Moody, Bob Leuci,
Justo Vasco, etc.

Luis Sepulveda: Chilean writer living in Germany, last I heard. "The Name Of
A Bullfighter" is a thriller involving an ex-East German spy, a beauty driven
mad by the torture inflicted on her by Pinochet's thugs, and a jaded freedom
fighter named after the bullfighter in Hemingway's "Death In The Afternoon."
Classy stuff.

Mayra Montero: Cuban living in Puerto Rico. Her "In The Palm of Darkness"
takes place in Haiti. Not a mystery or traditional crime fiction. Vanishing
frog species signal a coming environmental disaster. A US scientist struggles
to document what is happening, but has to confront roaming bands of macoutes,
voodoo curses, the extremes of Haitian culture, etc. Very good, dark, and
about as cynical as you might want.

Thanks for listening.
Manuel Ramos
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