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Latin American Literature, Novel, Fiction
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With the same outstanding attention to geographical and historical detail that he applied to his El mar de las lentejas (Sea of Lentils, Casiopea, 1999), Cuban emigre Ben!tez-Rojo writes the life-story of Henriette Fauber, an upper-class Swiss woman living in the 19th century. Like most female characters in the novel, Henriette tries to live unfettered by convention and to survive in the male-dominated world that surrounds her. She disguises herself as a man to attend medical school in Paris and, later, to work as a male surgeon in Napoleon's Grande Arme as it treks throughout Europe. Her secret male impersonation unravels at the hands of a treacherous Cuban peasant, whom she marries while working as a physician on the island. Ben!tez-Rojo beautifully reconstructs the Napoleonic battlegrounds and colonial Havana. In some cases, however, this imagery detracts from the story, as the lengthy descriptions of battles and locations tend to overshadow significant narrative events, such as Henriette's infidelity to her husband. Overall, however, this is an undeniably ambitious work, a compelling story that triumphs over its sometimes-awkward dialog and inexplicable changes from second- to first-person narration. Recommended for public and academic libraries, and bookstores interested in Cuban markets. Joseph F. Delgado, Columbia, SC
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Alfaguara, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P118420442933
Book Description Alfaguara, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M8420442933