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Theater of Night, The
Alberto Rios
$15.00 paperback
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Theater of Night, The  (paperback)
Alberto Rios

On the heels of his National Book Award nomination for poetry, Alberto Ríos's newest collection is filled with magic, marvel, and emotional truth. Set within a community along the border between the US and Mexico, his poems trace the lives and loves of an elderly couple, Clemente and Ventura, through their childhoods, their courtship and into marriage, maturity, old age, and death.

Ríos's narratives are both surreal and hyper-real, and from within the community of these two lives he creates a striking geography unlike any other in American poetry. And like the best of storytellers he charms his readers, making us care deeply for—even love—his characters.

(also available in hardbound)
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For Theater of Night, The, Alberto Rios


"In this rhapsodic series of poems, Ríos presents the story of Ventura and Clemente Ríos, a married couple living near the United States-Mexico border in the first half of the twentieth century. Ríos's project, indebted to magic realism but rooted in naturalism, proves ambitious. He deftly uses the couple—members, he says, of his 'extended family'—to explore liminal spaces: they live in a border town surrounded by 'invisible' walls ('Walk beyond the wall and you walk/On the ground of the other world'), a place where the divide between body and soul, and body and body, narrows: 'He stood slightly inside her / As if the lines of their bodies / blurred briefly.' When Ventura dies, the aged Clemente cries to her, 'I want to be the high sheriff / Of the space between us.'"—The New Yorker

"... gentle, accessible work that retains its powers within (not despite) its linguistic and stylistic smoothness, and these powers pull the mind and heart awake in ways that only poetry can do."—Western American Literature

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