When I first read Frankenstein, I knew that Mary Shelley was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, the blazing eighteenth-century feminist, so I was expecting a text reflecting that parentage. But her women characters were . . . well, dead. Her book was all about men.
When I moved to Rio de Janeiro and read Arlt for the first time, I began to grasp that the distance between expectation and reality, between hope and disappointment, animates and haunts the experience of the outsider to a foreign country.