South of Centre

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Andrea Carter, Sep 24, 2010 - Fiction - 302 pages
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At the edge of Chile's Atacama Desert, a solitary spinster refuses to let her "Latino Clark Gable" die in peace and she weaves him into a bizarre tapestry. Clorinda, a solitary 28-year old with a preternatural talent for fabric, becomes obsessed with an elderly Sr. Ortega when he moves in across the street. He finally befriends her and she cleverly incorporates the details of his cultivated life into her own mundane existence. As she manipulates the threads, Sr. Ortega's life is defined by the story she interprets. As a youth, Sr. Ortega makes an audacious escape from the life of an impoverished miner to enter a world of corruption and wealth. His adventures take him to Chile's capital of Santiago, to Bolivia, Peru, and to Canada before he finally returns to settle in the bags of wool at Clorinda's feet. Over the course of their friendship, Clorinda and Ortega become entangled in the colourful lives of unlikely characters and events that loop back and forth through Chile's recent past. Pinochet's dictatorship, connections with gypsies and miners, and ritual offerings to virgins bind the two characters more closely than they will ever know. South of Centre is a cultural fiction with a touch of magic realism that fuses South American humour and a group of eclectic characters with underlying questions about destiny, social justice, origins of cultural oddities and unresolved relationships.

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About the author (2010)

Andrea Carter was born in Quesnel, a small town in the interior of British Columbia, Canada. As a child, she broke into a neighbour's house just to feel the keys of their typewriter and maybe that should have been a clue. But she's a slow-starter. Decades later - after four children, writing for the sake of it, a few published articles in magazines, many more years working as a graphic designer and illustrator - she has finally completed this, her first novel. Married to a Chilean who was born in Tocopilla, she and her husband lived a sort of nomadic life in Bolivia, Spain and Chile between 1999 and 2011. They have settled in Santiago de Chile, while the children, now all adult women, live in various cities in Canada and England.

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