Victims of mistaken identity, sponging relatives, amateur sleuths, eavesdroppers, professional liars, assassins, and failed bodyguards populate the short stories in When I Was Mortal. Plots turn on curious exigencies: a woman about to star in her first porn film; a night doctor who adds new meaning to “specialist”; a ghost whose neglect is greatly resented.
“Mariás is a startling talent. . . . His prose is ambitious, ironic, philosophical and ultimately compassionate, forgiving of the vulnerability that compels us to destroy.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A refreshing discovery . . . [these stories] should be welcomed here like a bracing tonic.” —Chicago Tribune