Castillo, Ana Peel My Love Like an Onion

ISBN 13: 9780385496766

Peel My Love Like an Onion

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9780385496766: Peel My Love Like an Onion
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Peel My Love Like an Onion is the breakthrough novel from Ana Castillo, author of the wildly praised So Far from God--a lyrical, steamy, and moving story of a love triangle set in the colorful world of flamenco dancing.

Carmen "La Coja" ("the cripple") Santos is a flamenco dancer of local renown in Chicago, despite the obstacle of a handicapped leg, the legacy of a childhood attack of polio. From the beginning of her professional career, she has carried on an affair with Agustín, the married director of her troupe--a romance that is going stale from overfamiliar lust and an absence of honesty.

But when she begins a passionate liaison with the younger Manolo, Agustín's godson and a dancer of natural genius, an angry rivalry is sparked. Add to that the looming reassertion of her crippling disease and Carmen's vexed relations with her mother, one of the most exasperating parents in recent literature, and you have all the ingredients for a love story à la Ana Castillo--equal parts soap opera, tragicomedy, and rhapsody. Laced with sarcastic asides and dead-on observations, Peel My Love Like an Onion is a universal work imbued with love's power to vex and exalt.

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Review:

Ana Castillo's voice is one of self-confident, hypnotic melancholy. Peel My Love Like an Onion, her fifth book, often reads like a diary rather than a novel--full of dashed-off midnight eloquence but unformed. It's the story of Carmen Santos, a flamenco dancer whose right leg is shriveled from polio. Her family moved from Mexico to Chicago before she was born: "My first language was Spanish but I am not really Mexican. I guess I am Chicago-Mexican." Castillo sees the immigrant experience as a minefield of ironies. Carmen works at the Domino's in the airport as a way of being a productive American, thus gaining her father's respect. One morning on a "power walk" she realizes that the shoes she is wearing may have been made in a sweatshop by some distant relative from "somewhere... very foreign, like seaweed-and-black-fungus-in-French-Vietnamese-soup foreign."

As the book moves back and forth between Carmen's dreams of economic and emotional freedom and her erotic life (in which passion often feels as much like a trap as a release), Castillo's fluid style often lapses into carelessness. And there is a blurred quality to many of the images, like photographs taken from a moving car. Carmen's story is most engaging when she experiences isolated moments of independence: flamenco dancing, for instance, for the customers at a hair salon where she is working, dragging her bad leg around in front of the ladies under the hair dryers. The scene--a moment to relish--is almost heroic in its defiance of the exhausted world. --Emily White

From the Back Cover:

"This is the best of Ana Castillo: sassy, satiric and stunningly lyrical. Bravo, Ana!"
--Julia Alvarez

"Ana Castillo's new novel is a celebration of life lived to the hilt. Sung to the clapping of flamenco palmas, it honors freedom and the capacity to survive against all odds. It is a refreshing wedding of spitfire Chicagoan humor to Mexican-American spunk. In a limpid, direct style that blends the poetic and the satiric, this book will make you laugh and cry at the same time."
--Rosario Ferré

Praise for Ana Castillo and So Far from God:

"Goddamn. This Ana Castillo has gone and done what I always wanted to do--written a Chicana telenovela--Wacky, wild, y bien funny."        
--Sandra Cisneros

"Could be the offspring of a union between One Hundred Years of Solitude and 'General Hospital'--a magical melodramatic love child who won't sit down or--the reader can only hope--will never shut up--impossible to resist."
--Barbara Kingsolver, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Ana Castillo is immensely insightful in every sense of the word. Her work, anything and everything written by her--must be read if one is to gain understanding of the vast landscape of soul and life lived with vitality."
--Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of Women Who Run with the Wolves

"History may one day proclaim So Far from God the breakthrough novel about Chicano life that Ana Castillo--was born to write--.Compulsively readable, lilting and profound--.A teaching story that delights as much as it instructs, bringing us memorable characters whose lives stay with us long after the book's end."
--San Francisco Chronicle

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780385496773: Peel My Love Like an Onion: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 038549677X ISBN 13: 9780385496773
Publisher: Anchor, 2000
Softcover

9780732269593: Peel My Love Like an Onion

Harper...
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9780965073165: Peel My Love Like an Onion

DOUBLE..., 1999
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Book Description Condition: New. Peel My Love Like an Onion is the breakthrough novel from Ana Castillo, author of the wildly praised So Far from God a lyrical, steamy, and moving story of a love triangle set in the colorful world of flamenco dancing.Carmen "La Coja" "the cripple" Santos is a flamenco dancer of local renown in Chicago, despite the obstacle of a handicapped leg, the legacy of a childhood attack of polio. From the beginning of her professional career, she has carried on an affair with Agust?n, the married director of her troupe a romance that is going stale from overfamiliar lust and an absence of honesty.But when she begins a passionate liaison with the younger Manolo, Agust?n's godson and a dancer of natural genius, an angry rivalry is sparked. Add to that the looming reassertion of her crippling disease and Carmen's vexed relations with her mother, one of the most exasperating parents in recent literature, and you have all the ingredients for a love story ? la Ana Castillo equal parts soap opera, tragicomedy, and rhapsody. Laced with sarcastic asides and dead-on observations, Peel My Love Like an Onion is a universal work imbued with love's power to vex and exalt. Seller Inventory # 9780385496766

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