Aura, a supernatural and horror novella, was initially well received, though it later sparked controversy for its depictions of witchcraft and inescapable love. About the fluidity of time and identity, as well as a parable about Mexican unity and a possible utopia achieved through sexual unions, Aura is a chilling tale, masterfully told.
THE STORY: Felipe Montero, a young historian, accepts what appears to be a dream job in a dilapidated house in a poor section of Mexico City to edit the memoirs of General Llorente, the odd, elderly Consuelo's deceased husband. Felipe soon meets her enticing young niece, Aura, and while he organizes the general's papers--which recount late 19th- and early 20th-century Mexican history--by day, he fantasizes about Aura by night. But the general's papers suggest that Consuelo and Aura are not quite who they seem to be, and as Felipe digs deeper into the papers, a terrible eroticism spreads throughout the house. Soon, the secret of the general's memoirs and Felipe's, Consuelo's, and Aura's relationship to each other become terrifyingly clear.
"There is an appropriately ghoulish atmosphere pervading the tale, and there are some telling moments in the depiction of the old woman. So too with Aura--skillfully drawn, the essence of vacillation between her own real self and her possible incarnation of her aunt." ALEXANDER COLEMAN, NEW YORK TIMES, 11/28/1965