The Red of His Shadow: A Novel

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9780066210599: The Red of His Shadow: A Novel

From one of today's most gifted young Latin American writers, The Red of His Shadow is a breathtaking novel, a contemporary love story with the power of Greek tragedy that takes the reader deep into the mysterious world of Haitian Voudon. It is Holy Week, and the Haitian sugar cane harvesters can temporarily forget their misery and lose themsevles in the fervor of Voudon. But amidst the colorful festival, a struggle for power, as well as a devastating passion, develops between Mistress Zulé, a Voudon priestess and spiritual leader, and the infamous, bloodthirsty Similá Bolosse, a rival Voudon priest backed by the tontons macoutes. Based on true events, The Red of His Shadow evokes ferocious love, intense hatred, and the specter of death looming within life. Written in a prose remarkable for its clarity and musicality, the novel manages to be both richly symbolic and intensely physical. Behind a case that Dominican police closed as a simple "crime of passion" pulses the spell of a war that remains unfinished today.

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About the Author:

Mayra Montero was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1952, but has lived in Puerto Rico since the mid 1960s. She studied journalism in Mexico and Puerto Rico and worked for many years as a correspondent in Central America and the Caribbean. She is presently a highly acclaimed journalist in Puerto Rico and writes a weekly column in El Nuevo Dia newspaper. Montero's first book was a collection of short stories, Twenty-Three and a Turtle. Her second book, a novel titled The Braid of the Beautiful Moon, was a finalist for the Herralde awards, one of Europe's most prestigious literary awards. Each of her subsequent books -- The Last Night I Spent With You, The Red of His Shadow, In the Palm of Darkness, and The Messenger -- has been published in the United States in translations by Edith Grossman, as well as in several European countries. Her other nonfiction work appears frequently in scholarly and literary publications throughout the world.

From Publishers Weekly:

A major writer of the contemporary, post-Boom generation in Latin America, Cuban-born Montero (The Last Night I Spent With You; The Messenger) offers up more of the startling imagery and hypnotizing storytelling her readers have come to expect in her fourth novel to be translated into English. This time, however, the brutal tale she has to tell sags under the weight of its dark portentousness. In her retelling of the true and tragic love story of Simil  Bolosse and Zul‚ Rev‚, Montero illuminates the world of Haitian Voudon as it is practiced by the downtrodden Haitian immigrants who work in the sugar-cane fields of the Dominican Republic. At the age of 12, Zul‚, the wild and willful only surviving daughter of a cursed family, is anointed mambo, or priestess, of a powerful Dominican Voudon community and undergoes a seven-year apprenticeship. The most important of the celebrations she presides over is a Holy Week procession, a Gag , which each year wends its way across the sugar-cane fields. As the novel begins, a Gag  is being planned, but threats of violence threaten to derail it. Simil  Bolosse, a Haitian renegade once Zul‚'s lover and now her enemy, has pledged to cut her to pieces if she refuses to join forces with him. Perhaps even more dangerous is Zul‚'s half-Chinese bodyguard, who pines for his mistress and is consumed by jealousy. At once a brutal, expressionistic voodoo fairy tale and an indictment of the plight of Haitian cane workers in the Dominican Republic, this demanding novel proves that Montero is capable, like Zul‚, of "looking at the sun for a long time, searching with staring eyes for the temporal cause of its fury."

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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