NAYARIT by Miguel Angel Menendez


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This national prize winner in Mexico, and one of the runner-ups in the Farrar & Rinehart Latin American novel contest, is striking for its unique background, -- the primitive Cora Indian tribe, -- and its impressionistic style. It is a formless book, with little action -- almost no plot. By grace of mistaken identity, Ramon Cordoba escapes hanging, flees to the jungle with a small band of followers. A minor government official with him tells the story of their flight through the region of Nayarit, home of the unsubjugated Coras. Ramon is finally captured and killed, and Gervasio, his Coran companion is imprisoned. The book is saturated with the superstitions, the customs, the law system, all the inner workings of the Coras, and their eternal struggle with their Mexican masters. The fugitives are turned away from one village ""for the mortal sin of being white"". There is something of W. H. Hudson's poetic feeling for the jungle here, combined with St. Expuery's deep understanding of isolated spots and peoples. Indigenous themes are the common denominator of the best Latin American writers today, but Menendez' method of handling the return to the native is highly individual.

Publisher: Editorial Zaman