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A Fire in the Earth

Villatoro, Marcos McPeek

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ISBN 10: 1558850945 / ISBN 13: 9781558850941
Published by Arte Publico Press, Houston TX, 1996
Used Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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About this Item

Signed. A Very Good or better copy in brown cloth, in a Fine dust jacket. Light tanning at the outer edges, else tight and clean. Briefly inscribed and signed by the author in the year of publication. Bookseller Inventory # 027140

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Fire in the Earth

Publisher: Arte Publico Press, Houston TX

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition (Carolina Edition)

About this title


In the midst of death and destruction wreaked by an earthquake, the birth of Romilia is an omen of joy and prosperity for the settlers of El Comienzo. But powerful forces are at odds in this turbulent drama that unfolds against the fractured backdrop of twentieth-century Central America.
By the time Romilia marries into the Colonez clan, dreams have been shattered and the promised land has become a field of death and starvation controlled by foreign business interests. Patricio and Romilia Colonez muster the enterprising spirit of their fathers to establish a brick factory in the only patch of land not devoted to coffee. Their hopes of offering a decent living to the townspeople are dashed by the forces of exploitation represented by Antonio Colonez, the brother who seeks to assist the foreign entrepreneurs.
The dream for a promising future is left in the hands of their children Paco and Rosa. Imbued with the goodness and decency of their father and the resiliency of their mother, they struggle against the oppressors: the foreign capitalists, the government and the ruling classes who threaten their very existence. Regardless of failure and tragedy, in the end, their determination impresses upon their mother the need to continue fighting.

From Publishers Weekly:

El Salvador from 1870 through the 1930s is the setting for this sprawling populist mural of a novel. The title refers to an earthquake that creates a volcanic mound where Romilia Vasquez, a strong woman of Indian peasant stock born during the quake, later tills the land. No surprise, the (somewhat idealized) traditional ways of indigenous peoples, including the communitarian ethic of the campesinos, are pulverized as big landowners sell out to imperialistic U.S., German and British corporations, which then dispossess whole communities and tear down forests to grow coffee for export. In telling his tale of exploitation, Villatoro, who has published stories in both English and Spanish in a variety of small literary magazines, evinces special empathy for the plight of women, particularly Romilia, whose wealthy, crude husband, Patricio Colonez, treats her like a possession, and Necira Reyes, who's kidnapped and forced to undergo a brutal abortion because her father and brothers don't want her to have a child with Indian blood. Sketching characters broadly, Villatoro follows Romilia's son, Paco, as he joins his communist comrades in New York and returns to El Salvador to lead a workers' uprising that is brutally crushed by machine gun-toting government-backed troops. This is not a novel of character but rather an imaginative testimony on behalf of an entire people.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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