THE HOUR OF GIVING by Luis Zalamea


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The feverish despair of a man and woman, pinioned by the volcanic death throes of an archaic society, throbs through this tale from Colombia, S.A. When Don Hernan, mill and plantation owner, takes to riding buses and forsaking the mirrored cafes of the ruling classes, there is bound to be some talk. But Hernan, driven by the contempt of his wife Myriam, to the cool embraces of the village girl Clota, begins to understand something about himself -- and the forces responsible for the murder of Clota's father, a Negro employee, one of many listening to activists in labor reform and political upheaval.Hernan attempts to expiate his guilt with a personal gesture involving the sale of his mill with built-in reforms. Myriam, left by her parents' lack of love and communion to a hatred of men, turns to lesbian relationships and a loveless acceptance of her young son. But primitive and irrevocable forces are at work-- the establishment moves in to cripple the labor force Hernan hoped to aid, and Myriam is left adrift on the flood of her desire for love. Both are cut off from the ability to act directly; both are victims of their time and heritage. Lacking the removed cynical comment of La Dolce Vita, this is a literary view of contemporary anguish. A timely subject -- full blooded, busy, penetrating and highly disturbing.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin