Original language:
Original title: Fight Night
Translation: Julia Osuna
Year of publication: 2023
Valuation: recommendable

Sorry if at this point I think it’s convenient to avoid recent stereotypes like that of empowerment which, in my honest and absolutely criticizable opinion, only hide an attitude of condescending tolerance that whitens the outdated moral superiority behind which they insist on emphasizing achievements as if a certain thumbs up were needed. That Don’t let the fire go out (very curious translation of the title) whether it is a novel that reflects the future of three generations of women who live together in a house somewhere in Canada, it is a mere anecdote or a mere situational starting point for a notable work. Almost to the use of some type of costumbrista narrative, where I would perceive so many aromas of popular literature (sorry, that intergenerational complicity reminds me of things like Manolito Gafotas) to certain subplots that remind me of Junot Díaz. The fact is that I find it difficult to identify the author, Miriam Toews, except for the references to the Mennonite community, as the same one who wrote Ellas Speak, a novel that somewhat disappointed me and in which the author used a broader range of scope. modest.

On the contrary, here we are outside the claustrophobic religious communities anchored in the past and this change of environment is appreciated. Outside the oppressive habitat of ossified beliefs anchored in the past, here we witness a stimulating exercise that shows three generations determined to exercise dominion over the present, and that determination brings freshness to the narrative that, despite a certain component of tragic everyday life, , is curiously tinged with humor and self-confidence, one would almost say that a certain sarcasm emerges from that curious coexistence, we understand, forced by a certain precariousness. Toews organizes a curious triangle where Elvira, the grandmother, and Swiv, the nine-year-old granddaughter, interact in a somewhat chaotic dialogue in the first part, while the intermediate generation, the mother, pregnant in her third trimester, shows a more discontinuous presence. . Swiv has been expelled from school and her grandmother is taking care of her while her mother, an unsuccessful actress, comes and goes in a troubled manner. Spectacular omission of the male role. Nothing is known about the father.

What is curious is that, despite this anarchic staging, the novel is concretized and glimpsed without the need for a typical plot skeleton. In fact, it seems more like a buddy movie in which grandmother and granddaughter constantly challenge and challenge each other, especially when Elvira recounts her life events, always fighting against the social oppression to which she seemed doomed, while the granddaughter, outspoken, contributes her reply in a kind of vindication that, two generations later, there is no reason for explanation or justification.

Source: https://unlibroaldia.blogspot.com/2024/04/miriam-toews-no-dejar-que-se-apague-el.html

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