On Foreign Ground

Eduardo Quiroga, Author W. W. Norton & Company $13.95 (91p) ISBN 978-0-393-02448-7
The tension in this lyric novella, poised between the softness of remembered love and the relentless gibberish of war, is drama enough, but unfolding beside it is a tale of Argentinian brutality that, like gunshot, explodes when it is least expected. In a never-to-be-delivered letter to his beloved Sarah in England, written during the desolation of the Falklands under siege, Enrique Molina revives more chilling memories: of his brother Juan tortured in a Patagonian cell; of Monkey, the spirited boy Juan betrays; of his sister Ana escaping to Brazil after the murder of her teacher; of his silent capable mother. Now he is fighting the English people he has been taught to revere, conscripted by a country he has been made to hate, for the sake of an island foreign to Englishman and Argentinean alike. Enrique ends his letter with Matthew Arnold's famous lines: ""We are here as on a darkling plain . . . Where ignorant armies clash by night,'' summing up his pain and his predicament. It is a moving epitaph for Enrique and this beautiful book. (May 26)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 314 pages - 978-0-393-33449-4
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