""Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1976) is a novel written by Manuel Puig (1932-1990), an Argentinian playwright, novelist and screenwriter. Its subject is controversial, as it delves upon themes such as sexual identity, violence and torture. All the same, I think reading it is worthwhile, as it is one of those books that tell a story that comes alive to the reader..."
- M. Alcat
"I am limiting my contribution to a few comments on the footnotes. They are not mere postmodern flourish, nor are they superfluous. They function in several ways. First, they mark a certain reception of psychoanalytic theory in Argentina. Secondly, although in the beginning they correspond to the story (in the tradition way that footnotes do -- as elaboration on a point that cannot be contained in the narrative) they begin to loose their direct correspondence as the story continues. This "unraveling" corresponds to the unraveling of the framing device (most importantly the telling of stories), which traditionally is a narrative structure that functions to hold sexual desire at bay. In other words, the footnotes lose their hold as the characters become closer, sharing more personal facets of their lives, and eventually becoming sexual. In this way the footnotes subtend the narrative in such a way as to track sexual desire and the confusing and contradictory aspects (and theories) that attend to it. I think it is essential to read the footnotes along with the narrative since they add to Puig's experimental narrative style. If they are confusing, that is the point. Unexpected desire, like love, always is."