The Silence of the Sirens
El silencio de las sirenas
In a timeless, dark hillside village two women meet: Maria, sensible, clear-sighted, modern, appalled and intrigued by the primitive rites of the place she has come to as village schoolteacher; and dreamy Elsa, deeply, obsessively in love with a man she has met only twice.
Elsa has come to the village to cultivate her love, to find a love that is better, more intense, closer to the ideal than anything our everyday reality allows. In the stillness of the night she "contacts" her lover through dreams - her thoughts crossing not only the high, cold indifferent peaks that hem the village in and separate him from her, but transcending time itself.
Little by little Maria is drawn into collaboration with Elsa's fantasy, embarking on an exploration of Elsa's dreamworld, a mysterious, threatening irrational realm where fear and hope are poised in precarious balance. By the time Maria comes to believe that Elsa's love is truly a sickness and tries to withdraw, it is too late...
Heady, mystical, exotic, this delicately written investigation into the nature of reality and the imagination has a powerful appeal.
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An important voice in contemporary Spanish literature, Adelaida García Morales was born in Badajoz and raised in Seville. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a teacher, translator, model and actress. She has published six other novels. El Sur was made into a film in 1983.