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(09/21/2008) Betrayed By Rita Hayworth by Manuel Puig. New York. 1971. Dutton. Translated From The Spanish By Suzanne Jill Levine. keywords: Literature Translated Argentina Latin America. 223 pages. Cover: Wendell Minor. 0525066306. September 1971.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Hailed as one of the most important young writers in Latin America today, Manuel Puig, in his widely praised first novel, re-creates with wry compassion the provincial world of a middle-class Argentine family. Through a series of dialogues and soliloquies, as real and sometimes mysterious as conversations overheard, the boy Toto, his relatives and neighbors, servants and schoolmates, spring unforgettably to life. For all of them the only escape from the dreariness of small-town living is the movies. They are all that give shape and color to their existence. Telling of their dreams and fears in language that may parody the cliches of soap opera or the pseudo-literary style of a term paper, they speak of their marital troubles, of making ends meet, or getting girls, or finding a husband. Toto's cousin dreams of being a sports star, while a scholarship student hopes one day to eat North American pan queques - the status symbol of the day. Most of all, they dream of going to Buenos Aires, where the movies are even better. BETRAYED BY RITA HAYWORTH was originally published in Argentina, and has since been translated into French, German, Portuguese, and Italian. When published in France, Le Monde listed it as one of the best foreign novels of the year. In both Latin America and Europe, the critical praise has been extraordinary.

Manuel Puig was an Argentinian author. Among his best known novels are La traici0n de Rita Hayworth, Boquitas pintadas, and El beso de la mujer arana, which was made into a film by the Argentine-Brazilian Director, Hector Babenco and in 1993 into a Broadway musical. He was born in General Villegas After unsuccessfully studying architecture in the Universidad de Buenos Aires, he began working as a film archivist and editor in Buenos Aires and later, in Italy after winning a scholarship from the Italian Institute of Buenos Aires. Puig's dream was to become a screenwriter to write TV shows and movies. His career as a screenwriter never took off, however. In the 1960s, he moved back to Buenos Aires, where he penned his first major novel, a Traicion de Rita Hayworth. Because he had leftist political tendencies also foresaw a rightist wave in Argentina, Puig moved to Mexico in 1973, where he wrote his later works Much of Puig's work can be seen as pop art. Perhaps due to his work in film and television, Puig managed to create a writing style that incorporated elements of these mediums, such as montage and the use of multiple points of view. He also made much use of popular culture in his works. In Latin American literary histories, he is presented as a writer who belongs to the Postboom and Post-modernist schools. Puig lived in exile throughout most of his life. In 1989 Puig moved from Mexico City to Cuernavaca, Mexico, where he died in 1990. In the official biography, his close friend Suzanne Jill Levine, Manuel Puig and the Spider Woman: His Life and Fiction writes that Puig had been in pain for a few days prior to being admitted to a hospital, where he was told that his gallbladder was inflamed and would have to be taken out. After the surgery, while Puig was recovering, he began to choke and gasp. The medical team were unable to help Puig. His lungs had filled with fluid, and he died of a heart attack at 4:55 am on July 22,1990.

 

 

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