The Mermaid and the Drunks

by Ben Richards

The problems in Chile are now part of history but this, otherwise pleasant, story shows that time has not healed all the rifts in society. Violence erupts suddenly, fiercely, only to die away in the next breath. That life is uncertain is one of the certainties for the people of today's Chile.


They cut off Pio Nono on to a quieter and darker road. And there in the shadows a man was pinned against a wall while another man held a knife at his throat and his accomplice frisked his pockets. The man with the knife appeared to be whispering threats to their victim in order to pass the time.


By Night in Chile by Roberto Baldano
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

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