The first English translation of a 1972 novel that spins a provocative tale of 18th-century Puerto Rico under colonialism,...

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The first English translation of a 1972 novel that spins a provocative tale of 18th-century Puerto Rico under colonialism, employing the Borgesian tactic of building its narrative from a series of three ""lectures"" supported by letters, diary entries, and other purportedly documentary evidence. It's story of Baltasar MontaÛez, the son of a martyred populist leader, who is lured into an arranged marriage with a highborn girl (as a means of pacifying his insurgent countrymen), and of the sacrificial bridegroom's eventual ""renunciation,"" rebellion, subsequent madness, and lasting effect on his downtrodden people. Julia manages, despite the discursiveness here, to create vivid characterizations of both MontaÛez and his antagonist, the wily Bishop Larra, and to transform what might easily have been a mere academic exercise into a thoroughly engrossing and satisfying fiction.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Four Walls Eight Windows

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1997