The Book of Lamentations (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)

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9780141180038: The Book of Lamentations (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)

Set in the highlands of the Mexican state of Chiapas, The Book of Lamentations tells of a fictionalized Mayan uprising that resembles many of the rebellions that have taken place since the indigenous people of the area were first conquered by European invaders five hundred years ago. With the panoramic sweep of a Diego Rivera mural, the novel weaves together dozens of plot lines, perspectives, and characters. Blending a wealth of historical information and local detail with a profound understanding of the complex relationship between victim and tormentor, Castellanos captures the ambiguities that underlie all struggles for power.

A masterpiece of contemporary Latin American fiction from Mexico’s greatest twentieth-century woman writer, The Book of Lamentations was translated with an afterword by Ester Allen and introduction by Alma Guillermoprieto.

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Review:

Thirty years before the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas brought this little-known corner of Mexico to the world's notice, Mexican author Rosario Castellanos created a similar rebellion in her 1962 novel The Book of Lamentations. Castellanos has framed her story, which is set in the 1930s, around an actual 1860s uprising of Maya Indians against the Chiapan white ruling class. History and fiction meld seamlessly, mainly because conditions in the Chiapas Castellanos knew as a child hadn't changed much in the intervening 70 years; as late as the 1920s, impoverished Indians still served as mules, carrying white landowners strapped to their backs.

The book's title is apt; Castellanos casts an unflinching eye on the effects of oppression, ignorance, and misery. The central characters, motivated variously by desperation, superstition, or ambition, may not be admirable, but they are all too human. In the end, a rebellion culminating in the grisly crucifixion of a child is doomed to failure. Although The Book of Lamentations is not a pleasant book, in an age where history seems increasingly to be repeating itself in Asia, in the Balkans, in Mexico, and elsewhere, it is a deeply instructive one.

About the Author:

Rosario Castellanos (1925-74) was born Mexico City and spent much of her childhood in Comitán, in Mayan southern Mexico. After traveling to Europe and to the United States for advanced study in aesthetics, she returned to the province of Chiapas to work with Indian theater groups and the Indigenous Institute of San Cristóbal. Much of her work, even throughout her involvement with the literary group "The Generation of the '50s," tried to traverse the distance between the pre-Columbian and the European cultural traditions of Mexico. While serving as Mexican ambassador to Israel, Castellanos died in a freak household accident in Tel Aviv. In an irony she might have enjoyed, she was buried in the rotunda of Illustrious Men, in Mexico City.

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Open market ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. Set in the highlands of the Mexican state of Chiapas, The Book of Lamentations tells of a fictionalized Mayan uprising that resembles many of the rebellions that have taken place since the indigenous people of the area were first conquered by European invaders five hundred years ago. With the panoramic sweep of a Diego Rivera mural, the novel weaves together dozens of plot lines, perspectives, and characters. Blending a wealth of historical information and local detail with a profound understanding of the complex relationship between victim and tormentor, Castellanos captures the ambiguities that underlie all struggles for power. A masterpiece of contemporary Latin American fiction from Mexico s greatest twentieth-century woman writer, The Book of Lamentations was translated with an afterword by Ester Allen and introduction by Alma Guillermoprieto. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780141180038

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Open market ed. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Set in the highlands of the Mexican state of Chiapas, The Book of Lamentations tells of a fictionalized Mayan uprising that resembles many of the rebellions that have taken place since the indigenous people of the area were first conquered by European invaders five hundred years ago. With the panoramic sweep of a Diego Rivera mural, the novel weaves together dozens of plot lines, perspectives, and characters. Blending a wealth of historical information and local detail with a profound understanding of the complex relationship between victim and tormentor, Castellanos captures the ambiguities that underlie all struggles for power. A masterpiece of contemporary Latin American fiction from Mexico s greatest twentieth-century woman writer, The Book of Lamentations was translated with an afterword by Ester Allen and introduction by Alma Guillermoprieto. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780141180038

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Open market ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. Set in the highlands of the Mexican state of Chiapas, The Book of Lamentations tells of a fictionalized Mayan uprising that resembles many of the rebellions that have taken place since the indigenous people of the area were first conquered by European invaders five hundred years ago. With the panoramic sweep of a Diego Rivera mural, the novel weaves together dozens of plot lines, perspectives, and characters. Blending a wealth of historical information and local detail with a profound understanding of the complex relationship between victim and tormentor, Castellanos captures the ambiguities that underlie all struggles for power. A masterpiece of contemporary Latin American fiction from Mexico s greatest twentieth-century woman writer, The Book of Lamentations was translated with an afterword by Ester Allen and introduction by Alma Guillermoprieto. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780141180038

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