Mean Woman

Alicia Borinsky, Author, Cola Franzen, Translator University of Nebraska Press $35 (179p) ISBN 978-0-8032-1234-3
Borinsky, who left her native Argentina after a military coup in 1966, here presents an absurdly funny yet horrifying novel that suggests the Peronists' rule of Argentina as well as the era afterward. In her story, Francisco (a general) and Cristina (his mistress) rule an unnamed country as if they are royalty. After Francisco dies, Cristina goes into pampered exile and awaits her chance to return to her homeland while other rulers plunder it. Most interesting are the supporting female characters, whom Borinsky satirizes to illustrate the exaggerated roles women are forced to play in a male-run dictatorship. A social-climbing girl who plots to seduce Francisco and ``dethrone'' Cristina quips, ``In this world the bed is a passport to power. I am going to eat men with knife and fork, very slowly, licking my lips. . . .'' Darkly humorous lines (``Her existence was so very intense that her husband died'') about women abound, as do scathing observations about supporters of dictatorships who ``live like tiles of a Byzantine mosaic, each one trying to keep to its own color and occupation without knowing the pattern of the whole.'' (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 179 pages - 978-0-8032-6112-9
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