A dying woman's attempt to recount the story of her life reveals the fragility of memory and the illusion of identity.
A woman traveling on a transatlantic ship has fallen overboard. Adrift at sea, she makes a promise to Saint Rita, "arbiter of the impossible," that if she survives, she will write her life story. As she drifts, she wonders what she might include in the story of her life—a repertoire of miracles, threats, and people parade tumultuously through her mind. Little by little, her imagination begins to commandeer her memories, escaping the strictures of realism.
Translated into English for the very first time, The Promise showcases Silvina Ocampo at her most feminist, idiosyncratic and subversive. Ocampo worked quietly to perfect this novella over the course of twenty-five years, nearly up until the time of her death in 1993.
"A woman examines her life piecemeal, putting it together like a puzzle missing half its pieces--but the resulting image is all the more mesmerizing because of it. A deft and subtle novel that holds together as airily as a spider's web."—Brian Evenson, author of Song for the Unraveling of the World: Stories
Author: Silvina Ocampo
Translators: Suzanne Jill Levine / Jessica Powell
Foreword: Ernesto Montequin
Publisher: City Lights Books
Page Count: 120pp
Size: 5 x 7
Date of Publication: (November 5, 2019