Magazine article New Internationalist

[The Years with Laura Diaz]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[The Years with Laura Diaz]

Article excerpt

By carios Fuentes (Bloomsbury, ISBN 0 7475 5211 8)

'We are more than calendars. We know that nothing has an absolute beginning or an absolute end,' wrote Carlos Fuentes in his essay Mexican Tempi. His new novel, the long and richly complex The Years with Laura Diaz, is a dazzling affirmation of this philosophy and a magisterial summation of the 20th century from a Mexican perspective. At the book's centre is the photographer Laura Diaz. Her story is told by her grandson who, as the novel begins, is in Detroit making a documentary on Diego Rivera's famous Institute of Arts mural. Photographing the vast painting, he realizes that one of the faces in the picture is that of his great-grandmother, Laura Diaz. We then loop back to 1898 and the beginning of this woman's life, and the sweeping narrative takes in both tumultuous historical events and small personal details. …

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