Iracema ($25.00; Jan.; 160 pp.; 0-19-511547-3): This addition to Oxford's invaluable Library of Latin America (see also Blest Gana and de Almeida, above and below) is a new translation of a classic Brazilian novel first published in 1865. In depicting the defiant love affair between young Indian woman Iracema (the letters of whose name, rearranged, spell —America—) and a Portuguese soldier (Martim), de Alencar constructs an allegory of native Brazil's subjugation by colonialist Europe, which, amazingly enough, views both cultures with roughly equal amounts of irony and compassion. Floridly romantic and undeniably dated, but, still, a seminal and important work. It isn—t seamless, but there's a greatness in it.
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