Cuzcatlan-V253

Manlio Argueta, Author Vintage Books USA $8.95 (255p) ISBN 978-0-394-74253-3
In this lyrical, episodic novel, Argueta, author of One Day of Life, celebrates the poor people of El Salvador (whose Indian name is Cuzcatlan). Focusing on several generations of a peasant family, the narrative shifts voice and perspective and steps back and forth in time, from the 1930s to the early 1980s. The characters change, but their situations remain the samethey seek merely to survive and to love, and when they are allowed to do so the novel reads like the evocation of a simple earthly paradise. (""Juana's thoughts are like rain, they fall and fall until the sky is blue, clear.'') And yet contact with those in power is unavoidable and results in the peasants being exploited, beaten, kidnapped and killed. (To the military and the bosses ``poverty was communism.'') At the end of this novel, the youngest generation of the family devotes itself to the guerrilla struggle and indicts the most recent U.S. involvement: ``They come to our country in big airplanes. They tour the countryside in their helicopters. They wear dark glasses so they can't see our light. They drive bulletproof Cherokees. They don't speak Spanish. How are they going to understand us like that?'' (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Paperback - 255 pages - 978-0-679-74253-1
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