ABR reviews 'Requiem with Yellow Butterflies' by James Halford

An excerpt from Alice Whitmore's review of Requiem with Yellow Butterflies:

Requiem with Yellow Butterflies begins, aptly, with a death. Sitting at his office in Brisbane, the author receives news that Gabriel García Márquez has died at his home in Mexico. Across the world, there is a mushrooming of obituaries. Garlands of yellow butterflies are draped from trees and buildings; outside Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes, paper butterflies rain down like confetti. From Madrid, Elena Poniatowska eulogises: Gabo ‘gave wings to Latin America. And it is this great flight that surrounds us today and makes flowers grow in our heads.’

Gabo’s death is a catalyst for James Halford, in many ways. ‘As I read the memorials from around the world,’ he writes, ‘a spark of curiosity kindled.’ Halford, a diligent reader of García Márquez, begins to unpick the tightly wound threads of ‘mythomania’ that envelop the writer and his magnum opus, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), ‘the great twentieth-century Latin American novel’. The result is the first of fifteen deft chapters that drift seamlessly across the genres of literary essay, travelogue, and personal memoir, opening up new dialogues between Latin America (haunted Mexico; abandoned Paraguay; the humid midriff of Venezuela and Brazil; umbilical Cuzco; ‘eternal’ Buenos Aires), the coastlines and ‘unknown towns’ of Queensland, and the red desert of Australia’s interior.


Click here to continue reading.

Leave a comment:

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Other articles:

Shortlist announced for the 2020 Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished manuscript!

The judges of the 2020 Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, in its fifth year, are delighted to announce the six shortlisted manuscripts. 

Read More

Dancing in Shadows by Anna Haebich on the 2019 Prime Minister's Literary Awards shortlist!

UWAP Congratulations Anna Haebich on this achievement.

Read More

Reneé Pettitt-Schipp wins 2019 Western Australian Premier's Book Award!

UWAP is proud to congratulate Reneé Pettitt-Schipp for winning the 2019 Western Australian Premier's Book Award for an Emerging Writer.

Read More

Check out some recent reviews of our Fiction, Non-Fiction, Scholarly and Poetry titles

Hear what Australia's literary commentators have to say about the books coming out from UWAP.

Read More

Rozanna Lilley shortlisted for 2019 National Biography Award!

We're thrilled to congratulate Rozanna Lilley on her shortlisting for this prestigious award for her book, Do Oysters Get Bored?

Read More

Vale Professor Sylvia J. Hallam

UWAP is deeply saddened by the recent passing of Professor Sylvia Hallam FAHA.

Read More