Compiled together for the first time, here are three plays by Argentine novelist and playwright Manual Puig: the well-known Kiss of the Spider Woman, a sharply provocative tale of love, victimization, and fantasy, and of the friendship that develops between two strikingly different men imprisoned together in a Latin American jail; Puig's first drama written directly for the stage, Under a Mantle of Stars, a recurring dream that is never ending; and Mystery of the Rose Bouquet, an astute tale of deep compassion and illusion. These eminently readable plays highlight all the gifts that make Puig's fiction so remarkable. This is convincing proof that Manual Puig was one of our most talented writers - no matter what the medium. Puig is the author of seven novels, translated into fourteen languages.
A play can evolve from live theater to film and then on to musical theater, but the original intent and format is the written word of the playwright. With plays as evocative and readable as these three by Puig, the reader becomes immersed in the worlds created. While not as famous as the title entry, the other plays in this collection are as rich and captivating. Like Kiss , Mystery of the Rose Bouquet shows two disparate people finding solace with each other. Voices from their pasts will not, however, be silenced. The collection's final entry, Under a Mantle of Stars , tells of a never-ending wait for a loved one. A useful afterword is included with Puig's thoughts on acting interpretaton. Highly recommended for drama collections.-- J. Sara Paulk, Satilla Regional Lib., Douglas, Ga.