Mario Vargas Llosa referred to Juan Carlos Onetti as “one of the great modern writers, not only in Latin America.” A hero to the likes of Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez and a vital forbearer to magical realism, Onetti won the Cervantes Prize in 1980. A Dream Come True, beautifully translated by Katherine Silver, gathers Onetti’s entire body of short fiction into English for the first time.
Onetti’s characters drift untethered, through strange places with unfamiliar people. A woman idles in a beachside hotel during a prolonged convalescence; a grandmother serves café-con-leche to schoolboys resembling her lost grandson. In these mysterious, dream-like stories, everything is gestured at, nothing plainly told. Each offers a brief glimpse into the life of one of Onetti’s vast cast of unusual characters, intimately rendering their sorrows, fears, and joys.