THE YOKE AND THE STAR by Tana de Gamez


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Deliberately (one cannot doubt) modeling her sincere, tense, compassionate ""novel of the Cuban revolution"" on For Whom the Bell Tolls, Miss de Gamez tells of an American journalist in Havana who becomes enmeshed in the anti-Batista revolution--against his better judgment but not against his heart. The main characters are very real: the journalist; the young aristocrat-painter who is a rebel by nature; the professional soldier of lost causes, Joaquin, who fought in Spain and with the Maquis; the undernourished young virgin who, like so many in Latin America, leads a marginal existence because her ""excellent office skills"" cannot earn her what her body could. While the author is occasionally naive (is sexual deviation really just another affectation of the rich--native or tourist? Are prostitutes really that nice? Is foreign investment really always exploitation of the masses?) her book, within a very mature control has an animal warmth and a female ferocity that is very moving indeed. Beginning in 1953 with the barbarically repressed attack on Fort Moncada, ending still in the Sierra Maestra before Batista was ousted, the book leaves one paralyzed with sorrow that such courage, triumphant against such inhuman odds, should be betrayed into slavery again.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1966
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill