Manuel Puig: Boquitas pintadas (Heartbreak Tango)
The book starts with the death of Juan Carlos Etchepare from tuberculosis or, rather, the notice of his death and subsequent letters of condolence to his doting mother. We learn – through a series of letters and narration – that Juan Carlos is a small town Lothario who gets involved in a series of somewhat sordid (to us) affairs but always has the support of his mother and sisters. The tale could be mawkish and sentimental but Puig makes it both touching and humorous.
First published in Spanish by Seix Barral 1972
First published in English by Dutton 1973
Translated by Suzanne Jill Levine