The Remains

Margo Glantz


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Charco Press
14 March 2023
ISBN: 9781913867478
134 pages

From the publisher

After her ex-husband dies unexpectedly, Nora Garcia travels to the funeral, back to a Mexican village from her past and the art and music of their life together.The way you hold a cello, the way light lands in a Caravaggio, the way the castrati hit notes like no one else could-a lifetime of conversations about art and music and history unfolds for Nora Garcia as she and a crowd of friends and fans send off her recently deceased ex-husband, Juan. Like any good symphony, there are themes and repetitions and contrapuntal notes. We pingpong back and forth between Nora's life with Juan (a renowned pianist and composer, and just as accomplished a raconteur) and the present day (the presentness of the past), where she sits among his familiar things, next to his coffin, breathing in the particular mix of mildew and lilies that overwhelm this day and her thoughts. In Glantz's hands, music and art access our most intimate selves, illustrating and creating our identities, and offering us ways to express love and loss and bewilderment when words cannot suffice. As Nora says, "Life is an absurd wound: I think I deserve to be given condolences."