Archive for the ‘Latin American/Caribbean’ Category

IN THE COURTS OF THE SUN by Brian D’Amato

The world-building in this speculative fiction novel set on Earth is staggering. Over half the book takes place in Guatemala and Central Mexico at the height of the Mayan empire. The detail D’Amato puts into the pageantry, customs, sights, sounds, smells and tastes truly transport the reader to a seemingly alien world. The story is told by a Mayan descendent with his share of neuroses, gifts and curses. The first person, conversational narration was fresh and often humorous.

December 11, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Latin America, Latin American/Caribbean, Mexico, Scifi, Speculative (Beyond Reality)

THE LACUNA by Barbara Kingsolver

In Barbara Kingsolver’s THE LACUNA, Harrison Shepherd’s odyssey through three tumultuous decades of the 20th century begins in a lonely boyhood between two worlds – America and Mexico. It continues through the Depression and World War II, and culminates in the ugly, surreal hysteria of the Red Scare.

Along the way Shepherd mixes plaster for the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, becomes a confidant of his colorful wife, the artist Frida Kahlo, serves as secretary to the exiled Bolshevik, Leon Trotsky, and becomes a celebrity in his own right. Readers will bond with his kind soul, his boundless curiosity, his youthful exuberance and his self-deprecating wit as he experiences the best and worst his times have to offer.

December 10, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Latin American/Caribbean, Literary, Mexico, Orange Prize, Unique Narrative

ANNA IN-BETWEEN by Elizabeth Nunez

ANNA IN-BETWEEN is a novel about an unmarried, Caribbean woman in her late thirties, Anna Sinclair, who begins to understand herself as she comes to understand her parents. The novel explores issues of caste, race and culture in a moving, deeply poignant tale of mother and daughter. Anna goes back to the island of her birth as she does every year, but this time she stays for a month to spend more time with her aging parents…

November 14, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Caribbean, Class - Race - Gender, Family Matters, Latin American/Caribbean, Literary, y Award Winning Author

TELL ME SOMETHING TRUE by Leila Cobo

Leila Cobo’s debut novel, TELL ME SOMETHING TRUE, is an utterly wonderful and riveting book that had me in its clutches from the first page. It is lyrical and sensual with no word out of place. The character development is perfect, deep and meaningful, bringing the reader into the heart of the protagonists and their lives. In a sense, this novel sang to me in its poignant story of great loves.

October 15, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Family Matters, Latin America, Latin American/Caribbean, Reading Guide, World Lit

2666 by Roberto Bolano

I was coming to Maine for the summer and wanted to get lost in a big thick weighty book, a book that would be wasted in the city where it would be not so much attacked as toyed with. How can you read a 900 page book but to attack it? You can’t nibble at it. You have to take blocks of time and sit down in a quiet place and rest the tome on your lap and go after it, like a loon after a harbor sardine. I had wanted to read 2666 since it came out in English last year (from the Spanish), published posthumously a year after Bolaño’s death. Now was the time.

July 3, 2009 · Judi Clark · 2 Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Latin American/Caribbean, Literary, Mexico, Mystery/Suspense, Translated, World Lit

EMPIRE OF HUMILIATION by James Jens Brusseau

As a Latin American woman I read EMPIRE OF HUMILIATION hoping for a novel that I could relate to, and I wasn’t disappointed. I loved the descriptions of Mexico DF which made me feel like I was back there again. I mean the description of dinner plates at outdoor restaurants getting so coated by the oily air pollution that you can write on them with your finger, that’s exactly how terrible it is.

May 14, 2009 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Debut Novel, Facing History, Latin American/Caribbean, Mexico, Unique Narrative, World Lit