Los Jefes/Los Cachorros by Mario Vargas Llosa
English Title: The Cubs and Other Stories
Originally published in: Spanish
Reviewed by: Jen
Rating: 3.5 stars
Find it here: The Cubs and Other Stories
Synopsis: The Cubs and Other Stories is a collection of six short fictions about young men in Peru. It is Llosa’s only volume of short stories available in English. The stories all center on issues of masculinity, machismo, and manhood. Protagonists are mostly boys and young men who play out their masculinity in everyday places: a soccer field, school, with friends, etc. The title story, and the most interesting in the collection, is the tale of a young man named Cuéllar who is partially castrated in a childhood accident. The story focuses on his life after the incident and highlights his struggles to define himself after losing what he perceives to be the thing that defines his masculinity.