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Magic Realism

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Mexico City, 1882 The specter that sent twenty-year-old Edmundo Dawson running from the city of his birth was an enormous, pale-eyed, raven-haired Mexican woman of Welsh extraction named Maruja Rhys.  A rumored diabolist and a certain nymphomaniac, she was known as “Maruja la Bruja,” or more prosaically in English, “Maruja the Witch.” For no apparent reason, she conceived a passion for Edmundo on his first day of work at the Mexico City Herald, the English language daily where she was a veteran copywriter and he but a mere cub reporter. Much to the merriment of his colleagues, she continued to follow him about every day thereafter, gazing upon him as if moon-struck, inventing endless flimsy excuses to confer with him. To complicate matters, Maruja la Bruja lived directly above Edmundo in a company-owned building next door to the newspaper premises, and every night she leaned out her window to fling…