The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli

Paperback review

Sat, Jan 23, 2016, 00:47

   
 

Book Title:
The Story of My Teeth

ISBN-13:
9781783780815

Author:
Valeria Luiselli

Publisher:
Granta

Guideline Price:
£19.50

Luiselli’s second novel was created in collaboration with the factory workers of the Jumex corporation in Mexico City, who gave the author feedback which she incorporated into the work. The result is an unusual and engaging creation with an appealingly light touch that balances its philosophical meditations with a deeply eccentric approach. The narrator, Gustavo Sánchez Sánchez, discovers a midlife talent for auctioneering and proceeds to sell off his old teeth by claiming they came from the mouths of Plato, Rousseau, Virginia Woolf and others: he creates the value of the objects he auctions through the vividness and extravagance of the stories he tells about them. In a clear parallel with the act of writing, literary quotations, photographs and fortune cookie messages are all absorbed into an open-ended and playful meditation on artistic value and meaning.