Books: Imaginative Enchantments

A HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY by José Donoso; Knopf; 352 pages; $16.95

With The Obscene Bird of Night (1973), his fourth book, Chilean Author José Donoso joined the front ranks of South American fabulists. His sprawling novel not only housed more grotesques than a whole rack of Gothic thrillers; it also offered a narrator who pretended to be a deaf-mute, baroque retellings of native legends and a riot of inventiveness. Donoso was inevitably mentioned in the same breath with Borges and Marquez as yet another prophetic surrealist bent on reimagining his colorful, tragic continent....

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