Call me Magdalena

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University of Nebraska Press, Jan 1, 2001 - Fiction - 137 pages
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Erotic entanglements, startling revelations, a furtive intruder, even a possible murder? Not at all what the students of Mind Control class envisioned when they gathered on a ranch outside Buenos Aires for a relaxing weekend. But here nothing is quite what it seems, least of all Magdalena herself, who while recounting the weekend's events, changes her name as often as she changes her mind. Within the taut framework of a murder mystery, Alicia Steimberg weaves a tale far more concerned with who-is-it than with whodunit. In what is probably the celebrated author's most interesting and complex novel, Magdalena conducts us through her tortuous childhood as an Argentine Jew and through her doubts about morality and mortality, the existence of God, and the amorphous nature of identity. Animated by Steimberg's lively dialogue and wit, this eccentric tour of some of the more pressing questions about gender, identity, and existence itself is finally as intriguing and suspenseful as the mysteries large and small, otherworldly and mundane, that it invites us to contemplate.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

All sorts of genres are imperturbably parodied in this witty, prizewinning 1992 novel from the Argentinean author of Musicians and Watchmakers. Its frame story is a weekend getaway shared by members ... Read full review

Call me Magdalena

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Winner of the 1992 Planeta Prize, Steimberg's second novel (after Musicians and Watchmakers, a fictional account of an Argentine Jewish family) is a complex murder mystery narrated by the middle-aged ... Read full review


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About the author (2001)

Born in Buenos Aires in 1933, the descendant of Eastern European Jews, Alicia Steimberg is a well-known figure in the world of Argentine letters. She is the winner of many prestigious literary prizes, including the 1992 Planeta Prize for Call Me Magdalena. Andrea G. Labinger is a professor of Spanish and honors director at the University of La Verne in Claremont, California. She has translated many works, including Steimberg's Musicians and Watchmakers.

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