Mothers & Shadows

Marta Traba, Author, Jo Labanyi, Translator, Gustavo Zalamea, Illustrator
Marta Traba, Author, Jo Labanyi, Translator, Gustavo Zalamea, Illustrator Readers International $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-930523-15-2
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
Set in the southern cone of South America at the time of the 1973 Pinochet coup in Chile, this tale of two politically engaged women is wrenching and obtuse. Irene, a successful Argentinian actress whose son is caught up in the terror in Chile, and Dolores, a young Uruguayan activist, are uncomfortably reunited some five years after having been arrested and brutally beaten in Montevideo. In conversations and interior monologues over the course of a single afternoon and evening, they recount events leading up to the experience in Uruguay and its affects on their lives since. At its best, this is a powerfully evocative story of political evolutionthe anxiety of living with state-sanctioned terror is present on every page, and there is a cathartic scene in which Irene joins the ""Madwomen of the Plaza de Mayo'' to protest Argentina's desaparecidos. But at other times, the narrative, whichis never strong, vanishes completely, leaving the reader with little to hold on to. (February)
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