Mark Reviews Bernardo Esquinca’s THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM

Although he’s had more than seven books (novels and story collections) published in Spanish, THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM is Bernardo Esquinca’s first collection in English. In a gorgeous bilingual edition, these stories introduce the English language reader to the strange, eerie world of Esquinca.

These tales, though lucid and beautifully translated, are filled with doppelgangers, haunted forsests and lost children. Anyone who is a fan of writers as varied as Stephen King to Paula Hawkins will recognize the hallmarks of a writer with a vivid imagination. One particular story involves a hitchhiker and a group of missing men in a mountainous cave; the reasons for their vanishing are dark and enigmatic. The reader feels quickly at home in his stories and then something happens, the world is turned just a bit off kilter and you've enetered the inexplicable.

Although Mexican, Esquinca's stories have an international feel. One story reimagines a forest in Japan where people go to kill themselves. Other stories feel situated in Europe and beyond. I had the opportunity to share an event with Bernardo in New York this summer and he is a delight. He'll be reading from THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM on November 2nd at the store and I encourage anyone interested in these dread-filled stoies of ghosts and the strange to join us.

Article Type Terms: