Bazaar of the Idiots

Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazabal, Author, Gustavo A. Gardeazabal, Author, Susan F. Hill, Translator Latin American Literary Review Press $14.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-935480-48-1
In this funny spoof on religion, morals and manners in the town of Tulua, Colombian novelist Gardeazabal (the mayor of Tulua) presents a world where sinners are blessed with divine restorative powers while zealous adherents suffer the torments of hell. Through a twist of fate Tulua's most shunned resident, Marcianita, the illegitimate daughter of a parish priest, becomes a celebrity after she marries a respectable engineer and bears two sons who, though idiots, are ``super-endowed'' with sexual potency. Marcianita's sons use their ``curative prowess'' to make a crippled beauty queen walk, and word of this and other ``miracles'' spreads. Soon pilgrims visit the town, followed by journalists and entrepreneurs with plans to capitalize on Tulua's new tourist attraction. Gardeazabal's first book to be translated into English takes the shape of a series of related fables with their own mythical reality and bizarre characters, among them a priest who hypnotizes poisonous spiders until one sinks its barb in him and puts him in a cataleptic coma. Though powerful in its criticism of religious and social repression, the book's humor packs the biggest punch. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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