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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
The Dark Bride is a smart, lushly written, heartfelt glimpse into a largely vanished world that existed deep in the oil-rich jungles of South America. Colombian author Laura Restrepo has created a wonderfully appealing and colorful cast of characters: the prostitutes of Tora, a city in the Colombian forest, and the oilmen who descend upon the city once a month to take comfort in the women's arms. These honest yet wily individuals take turns narrating the story of Sayonara, a young puta who achieved near-mythic status as a result of her legendary beauty and haughty spirit.
The headstrong Sayonara rules the putas' fabled quarter, La Catunga, until she violates the unwritten rule of her profession and falls in love with one of her customers. Unable to have the man she loves, she settles for a man who claims to love her, ultimately coming to deplore the private degradation that belies the public respectability for which she once yearned.
In bringing to life the intelligence, suffering, and tenderness of the resourceful Colombian putas and the men who are held spellbound by their charms, Laura Restrepo has written a haunting novel of touching immediacy, challenging readers to reconsider conventional assumptions about morality, strength, kindness, and the true nature of happiness. (Fall 2002 Selection)