Born in a small town in the Argentine pampas, Manuel Puig (1932–1990) read philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires before winning a scholarship to study film direction at Cinecittà Studios in Rome. Exiled from Argentina, he settled in New York City in 1963. His 1976 novel Kiss of the Spider Woman was filmed in 1985 by the Argentine-Brazilian director Héctor Babenco, thereafter becoming a Broadway musical in 1993. Puig’s novels have been translated into fourteen languages.
"An intimate look at the maids, stifled housewives, and would-be gangsters living on the outskirts of Buenos Aires during the country’s period of political transformation from 1933 to 1948 . . . Luminous . . . A pop art classic."
– Publishers Weekly
"For many people—and certainly for Puig as a boy in small-town Argentina—the first and most absorbing form of storytelling is gossip: tales (almost always told by women) about romances and breakups, scandals and humiliations. There is an endless fascination in parsing other people’s lives, comparing them to ours, rendering judgment and imagining how our own lives might be judged. In Betrayed by Rita Hayworth, Puig captures the human inclination to peer and weigh and compare, while taking advantage of that same inclination in his readers . . . [It is] perhaps his most lyrical novel."
– Natasha Wimmer, The Nation
“An insidiously successful portrait of minds marking time . . . scrupulously faithful to its theme of mental desolation: distant enough from it to ensure near-perfect stylistic control; but close enough, in spite of all the parody, to lock us firmly into these scenes from the provincial mind.”
– Michael Wood, New York Review of Books
"Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is camp, and in effect, Puig does camp it up in a fabulous way, full of literary allure, magnetic glower, smoldering good looks and plenty of plain panache and strut. Within this mass portrait of the dime-store psyche in Latin America, there lurks a continent of submerged lumpen who live only because Hollywood supplies sufficient blatant fantasy of them to continue to go through the parodies they think of as life—and that is sad, sort of. But Betrayed by Rita Hayworth is a screamingly funny book, with scenes of such utter bathos that only a student of final reels such as Puig could possibly recreated for us."