Lucha

Constance Urdang, Author Coffee House Press $9.95 (112p) ISBN 978-0-918273-23-9
Lucha is the Spanish word for ""struggle,'' as well as the nickname of one of the protagonists, who escapes an impoverished life on a barren ranchecito through marriage to a prosperous factory owner. Lucha takes in one of her sister's many children, Nieves, in the hope that the girl will grow up to make something of herself. But Nieves dislikes school and prefers being her aunt's unpaid servant. She is happiest when she has a baby to care for, and becomes a single mother of four. Lucha concludes that, as much as the outside world changes, a passive, fatalistic Mexico, whose poor women have too many babies and whose citizens dump garbage in the streets, remains the same. More akin to journalism than literature, this disappointing novella by the poet and author of Natural History mixes dispassionate observations with dogmatic conclusions. Narrative supersedes dialogue while expository passages are given as much weight as dramatic ones, and the reader may accurately determine that all are equally unimportant. (October)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1986
Release date: 10/01/1986
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