In an extensive feature entitled “Neruda’s Ghosts,” Public Books reviews Malva, the phantasmagoric novel by Dutch poet Hagaar Peeters, told from the ghostly perspective of the unknown daughter of Chilean poet/hero Pablo Neruda:
“Malva is a hypnotically poetic novel, in Peeters’s original Dutch as much as in the translation by Vivien Glass. The afterlife has granted the disabled eight-year-old Malva Marina a precociously eloquent kind of wisdom and a wicked sense of humor. Mute and powerless during her brief earthly existence, she’s now chatty and happily omniscient. She barely seems to hold a grudge against her absent, famous father. But she’s also ruthless when it comes to his contradictions.”
The review also features small excerpts, historical information, and background information about Peeters and her book.