The Last Waltz in Santiago: And Other Poems of Exile and Disappearance

Ariel Dorfman, Author, Edith Grossman, Photographer Puffin Books $8.95 (9p) ISBN 978-0-14-058608-4
The Chilean author who taught us all How to Read Donald Duck here reminds us in a thumping collection of protest poetry that Chile is a country where dissidents continue to vanish without a trace, leaving behind torn families who cannot decide whether to hope that their loved ones are alive, or deadand beyond the possibility of torture. Eschewing political rhetoric, Dorfman adopts the personae of parents, spouses and children who, never even breathing the words ""Pinochet'' or ``junta,'' long for knowledge of the fates of the Disappeared. Similarly, Dorfman describes the helpless isolation of the exile in two consecutive poems that both conclude: ``I hang up the phone and begin to call the newspapers one by one to give them the name of the companero who has been arrested, the name of the companero I don't know.'' In the tradition of Latin American protest literature, this is a call to conscience that appeals to our most basic human instinctsthe love of mother for child, wife for husband. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
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