Manuel Puig and the Spiderwoman: His Life and Fiction

Manuel Puig (1932-1990), Argentinian author of Kiss of the Spiderwoman and pioneer of high camp, stands alone in the pantheon of contemporary Latin American literature. Strongly influenced by Hollywood films of the 30s and 40s, his many-layered novels and plays integrate serious fiction and popular culture, mixing political and sexual themes with B-movie scenarios. Puig's way of life was as unconventional as his fiction: he spoke of himself in the female form in Spanish, renamed his friends for his favourite movie stars and referred to his young male devotees as 'daughters'. Suzanne Jill Levine, his principal English translator, draws upon years of friendship as well as copious research and interviews in her remarkable book.