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Under a Mantle of Stars:
Revised Edition

by Manuel Puig

ISBN 0930829328 / 9780930829322 / 0-930829-32-8
Publisher Lumen Books
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

In his first work written directly for the stage, the author of The Kiss of the Spider Woman creates a hilarious and shocking clash of desire and reality. Readers accustomed to Puig's dramatic novels will find in Under a Mantle of Stars a two-act drama that reads like a novella. Into the home of a bourgeois family come two strangers on their way to a masquerade ball. Within moments, the masters of the house take their visitors for long-dead friends, the sumptuous couple turns out to be a pair of jewel thieves fleeing the police, and the daughter is trapped in a melodramatic farce in which she takes the thief to be her ex-fiance while her mother believes him to be the lover she has waited for these past twenty years.

Manuel Puig first gained international recognition with his novel, Betrayed by Rita Hayworth, and went on to further fame and critical acclaim with The Kiss of the Spiderwoman. Under a Mantle of Stars is his first play written directly for the stage as well as the first to be published in English.

According to the New York Times, Puig is "one of the most consistently interesting . . . [authors] . . . to have emerged anywhere during the past ten years." Newsweek has said that Puig is "both a funny writer and a tenderly elegiac one." And the Washington Post has commented that "his mastery of plot, counterplot, the characters' scheming, his own, . . . lifts Puig into the circle of his peers," such as Borges and Garcia Marquez.

"Ronald Christ's translation is an authentic and careful rendering of this original work. The English version clearly replicates Puig's idiosyncratic forms of speech, characterization, and stage direction. Christ has created a script that is highly theatrical, interesting, and playable in English. . . . [Under a Mantle of Stars] stands on its own merits . . . [it] leaves us asking for more Puig as playwright and more Ronald Christ as translator."Rodney Carl Reading, Latin American Theater Review
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