The Inhabited Woman

The Inhabited Woman

The Inhabited Woman

The Inhabited Woman

Synopsis

The Inhabited Woman is an intelligent and politically sophisticated adventure-romance in which the soul of an Indian warrior woman from the time of the Conquistadors inhabits the body and mind of Lavinia, a middle class woman living in a Latin American country. With daring and growing self-assertion, Lavinia abandons the confines of her own privileged life to join an underground movement against a dictatorship, undergoing a personal transformation in which she finds - through love - the power and courage to act.

Excerpt

I emerged at dawn. What has happened since that day in the water when I last saw Yarince is all so strange. The elders announced in the ceremony that I would travel to Tlalocan, the balmy gardens to the East -- verdant country, land of flowers caressed by gentle rains -- but instead I found myself alone for centuries, enclosed by earth and roots, watching in astonishment while my body dissolved into humus and vegetation. I had been holding onto my memories so long: the sounds of maracas, the thundering of horses, rebellion, spears, the anguish of defeat, Yarince and the strong sinews of his back. But for days now I had been hearing the rain's tiny footsteps, the roaring of great subterranean currents drawing near my ancient dwelling, carving out tunnels, tugging at me through the porous dampness of the earth. I could see the world coming closer; I could see it in the changing colors of its layers.

I saw the roots. Their hands, outstretched, calling to me. The force of their beckoning attracted me irrevocably. I penetrated the tree, entered its circulatory system; I flowed through it like a long caress of sap and life, an opening of petals, a shuddering of leaves; I felt its coarse touch, the delicate architecture of its branches, and, joyfully, I unfolded into the hollows and passageways of my new skin, stretching out after so long, letting my hair tumble free, coming out to look at the blue sky with its white clouds, to listen to the birds singing as before.

I, too, sang with my new mouths (if only I could have danced), orange blossoms covered my trunk, and the scent of oranges was on all my branches.

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