(From the publisher):
The late 1970's. Winter. Greenwich Village, New York City. Ramirez, a demanding seventy-four-year-old Argentine, exiled to America ostensibly for political reasons, is an invalid, confined to a wheelchair, who lives in a nursing home under the auspices of a human rights group. Larry, a moody, self-absorbed thirty-six-year-old American down on his luck, who occupies a bare, grimy apartment on Carmine Street, is hired to push Ramirez around the neighborhood. As we follow Ramirez and Larry on their jaunts through the Village and overhear them in the old man's nursing-home and hospital rooms, their relationship becomes a complex of deceptions. Is Ramirez merely a pathetic hypochondriac/amnesiac, who has forgotten his past, knows only the literal meanigs of words and feels no emotions? A frightened man marked for murder? A perverse patriarch who terrorized his wife and son? Is Larry a crazed Vietnam veteran? A currently unemployed history professor? A son irremediably damaged by his abusive parents, as he so readily and frequently insists?
While both men twist each other up in lies-and Larry slowly deciphers Ramirez's memoirs, encoded in French novels (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, La Princesse de Cleves, Adolphe)-Ramirez and Larry come to depend on each other; arrive, more often than not, at unspoken understandings; are provocatively shown to be each other's shadow-in preperation for the novel's jolting, disturbing, affecting denouncment.
Original title: Eternal Curse on the Reader of These Pages
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Troubled Lives
- Written in English, but originally published in Spanish under the title "Maldición Eterna a Quien Lea Estas Páginas". The English-language edition is based on Puig's English original and his own Spanish translation.