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SIRENA SELENA by Mayra Santos-Febres


by Mayra Santos-Febres & translated by Stephen Lytle

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-25227-7
Publisher: Picador

This impishly sensual novel is an often hilarious anatomy of gender confusion, set in the Dominican Republic, and reminiscent of the classic silent film The Blue Angel. Santos-Febres's Lola-Lola is Leocadio, an adolescent male hustler who's "remade" into the eponymous cabaret singer, a gorgeous siren who seduces wealthy businessman Hugo Graubel—aided by "Selena's" "mistress," Martha Divine, herself a drag queen desirous of financing a sex-change operation. The boy-girl Selena is as sweetly bedazzled as any hero-heroine out of a Shakespearean comedy, and this blackly comic tale of a most unconventional enchantment unwinds irresistibly, as the strains of the bolero thrum away humidly in the background. Beautifully conceived and structured, and very entertaining.