Wild Steps of Heaven

Victor Villasenor, Author Delacorte Press $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-31566-1
In this second volume of Villasenor's (Rain of Gold) Mexican trilogy, he relates the history of his father's family in the highlands of the western Mexican state of Jalisco in the early 20th century. His father was descended from a noble-blooded Spaniard and an Indian woman whose conflicting cultures epitomize those of the Mexican nation. Indeed, says Villasenor, ``the story of my father's people was filled with so much rage and violence and yet this incredible faith in God.... [It] was the story of all Mexico, and the story of Mexico was the story of the last five hundred years of European dominance all over our globe.'' Drawing on his father's stories and those of other members of his extended family, the author reconstructs their loves, lusts, madness, deaths, births, hunger, massacres, joys and heroism in a folkloric tale reminiscent of the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His characters and the events they live through are so outrageous that familiar stereotypes dissolve in their wake and magnetic individuals come to life, taking both the good and the bad as givens, supported by fierce love of the earth, their families, God and, above all, la vida. Author tour. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996
Release date: 02/01/1996
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Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-385-31569-2
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