Museum of Useless Efforts by Cristina Peri-Rossi
In this peculiar and unsettling collection of short stories, Uruguayan expatriate Cristina Peri Rossi curates a fiction exhibit of human futility fully engaged with the promise of the title piece, Museum of Useless Efforts. Originally published in 1983 (and more recently translated into English), these narratives reveal minute cosmologies within everyday contemporary urban life, addressing the uncertainties that disturb it.
The parched, anti-septic weave of the author's prose fashions textures of being as strange and abstract as any museum display dedicated to failure. Additional elements like arbitrary plot shifts and anonymous protagonists further Peri Rossi's effort to convey-as mentioned in the disorienting travelogue, "Notes from a Journey"-"the symbols of an ambiguous condition."