Fragile Night

Stella Pope Duarte, Author Bilingual Press/Editorial Biling-Ue $14 (160p) ISBN 978-0-927534-71-0
In Duarte's debut collection of 15 short snapshots of barrio life, the women tend to be martyrs and the men philandering ne'er-do-wells. ""Penguin's Mother"" introduces a woman who ""As far as anybody knew.... had never committed a mortal sin."" This brave and long-suffering character is all too typical of the heroines we encounter in the tales, yet Duarte makes us understand how their situations are related to cultural influences, especially the expectation that Latin women are obliged to endure their husbands' infidelities and frequent violence. One of the few stories that avoid this formula, ""The Remedy,"" is a charming tale of two sisters who won't stop bickering until their father takes them to the local curandera. Others fall short of strong opening premises, as in the title story, in which Alma's decision to stand up to her abusive husband comes too abruptly for credibility. Duarte's ambition to take on complex emotional terrain is admirable, but many of her humble protagonists remain one-dimensional, defined by heavy symbolism rather than deft characterization. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.