Guillermo Verdecchia is primarily known for his award-winning plays; Citizen Suárez is his first book of short stories, and it is a remarkable debut.
These stories take on the quintessential issues forced upon a generation betrayed by their citizenship—a betrayal the more profound because it subsists primarily in the global death of the nation-state. These are stories about people travelling, wandering or lost between countries and languages—people caught between the impulse to flee and the desire to belong. Sex, geography and politics grip the protagonists of these pieces, demanding promises, compromises and resolutions. These are stories about power—personal, civic, sexual, filial, political—and how, lubricious, it slips between the fingers. Quiet, careful, witty, they document and celebrate survival—consolations, complicities and accommodations in the face of indifference, cruelty and fear. The characters of these stories are known to the reader, intimately known, because they are revealed to us in the way that only we know ourselves—in those darkest recesses of the desires and fears we imagine, we hide from others, and thus, also from those we love. Most astonishing of all for a writer venturing into a new genre for the first time is the elegant surety of his style—Verdecchia speaks in these stories with the fatalistic lyricism of Lorca, the philosophical ambiguity of Paz, and the emotional scalpel of Márquez.