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This novel addresses the universal issues of class discrimination, male oppression and female servitude, and opens a window on Mexico's Catholic and pagan customs as well as its folklore, magic and corruption.
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Jennifer Clement is the President of PEN International and the first woman to be elected since the organisation was founded in 1921. She is the author of three novels: Prayers for the Stolen, A True Story Based on Lies and The Poison That Fascinates. Prayers for the Stolen was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, winner of the Grand Prix des Lectrices de ELLE 2015, an NEA Fellowship and the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award. The novel appeared internationally on many 'Best Books of the Year' lists, including the Irish Times. She has also published four books of poetry including The Next Stranger (with an introduction by W.S. Merwin). Clement's books have been translated into 30 languages and she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for her new novel Gun Love, which is forthcoming in March 2018.From Publishers Weekly:
Employing an elegant, spare poetic style that speaks volumes about the plight of her Mexican protagonists, novelist and poet Clement (The Next Stranger) tells the story of a young peasant girl named Leonora who finds work as a domestic for a rich Mexico City couple with an Anglo last name. After growing up in rural poverty, Leonora finds her circumstances improved considerably when she moves in with the O'Conners; her fellow servants become a warm, caring circle of friends. But her ignorance leaves her helpless against the advances of Mr. O'Conner, and while he proves to be a gentle, compassionate lover, Leonora soon learns that he has a long history of infidelities. His wife tries to send Leonora away after the birth of the child (a girl the family names Aura Olivia and intend to raise as their own), but Mr. O'Conner convinces her to let Leonora stay and help with the child's upbringing, a decision that exacerbates his wife's various psychosomatic illnesses. Clement's short chapters are a haunting series of prose poems, some of them narrated in flashback by Aura Olivia as Leonora's troubles mount. Clement also uses the other domestics as a kind of Greek chorus, particularly a woman named Josefa who speaks solely in single-word sentences. This is a rich, memorable, multilayered novel.
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Book Description Canongate Books, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111841951668
Book Description Canongate Books, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1841951668