Magazine article New Internationalist

So Far from God // Review

Magazine article New Internationalist

So Far from God // Review

Article excerpt

This is the brave and witty story of five women: La Loca, who miraculously rises up from her coffin aged three; Fe, who is jilted by her lover and poisoned by her work in a factory; Esperanza, who becomes a journalist and disappears in the Gulf; Caridad, the healer who leaps out of this world with the woman she loves, and Sofia, their mother who survives them all.

It is a tale both tragic and funny; a hymn to women's endurance and to the harshness of their lives. Sofia has a feckless husband - who suddenly appears after an absence of twenty years - and four daughters who suffer all the indignities known to woman. But she decides to become the Mayor of Tome and goes on to found a workers' co - operative and MOMAS ('Mothers of Martyrs and Saints'). Sofia endures, no, she triumphs - while at the same time retaining her sense of humour.

Set in Chicana country the story is both down - to - earth and full of unearthly happenings. Its matter - of - fact delivery serves to make the magical believable. When La Loca is dying of AIDS, Doctor Tolentino and his wife come to help her. His ministrations involve prayers and cotton wool soaked in holy oil. But then he reaches into La Loca's stomach 'maintaining his left "material" hand in the opening, while the right "spirit" hand sought out the maladies' and 'pulled out some cystic fibroids and finally a tumour...' The lines between the surgical and the miraculous are blurred and anything seems possible.

Ana Castillo uses a direct colloquial style with little regard for punctuation, almost as if the writer is confiding her thoughts directly to the reader. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.