In Her Absence Mario, a bureaucrat in a provincial Spanish town, suspects that his pampered, emotionally unstable wife has been replaced by an impostor, one who is more… Fiction Other Press
Book Review

In Her Absence

Details Writer: Antonio Munoz Molina; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Other Press

Mario, a bureaucrat in a provincial Spanish town, suspects that his pampered, emotionally unstable wife has been replaced by an impostor, one who is more accommodating and affectionate than his real spouse. The setup in Antonio Muñoz Molina's In Her Absence is delicious — half borscht-belt joke, half Beckett. Molina doesn't mine all of the satirical and surreal potential from his premise. But Mario's contortions to win and keep Blanca — feigning interest in avant-garde culture, skipping work to clean and cook for her, and watching his every move — offer a wry, fresh take on the games people play in order to keep love alive. B+

Originally posted Jul 13, 2007 Published in issue #944 Jul 20, 2007 Order article reprints