Inhabited Woman by Gioconda Belli, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Inhabited Woman

Inhabited Woman

5.0 3
by Gioconda Belli
     
 

Lavinia is The Inhabited Woman: accomplished, independent, and fiercely modern. She is sheltered and self-involved, until the spirit of an Indian woman warrior enters her being, then she dares to join a revolutionary movement against a violent dictator and—through the power of love—finds the courage to act.

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Overview

Lavinia is The Inhabited Woman: accomplished, independent, and fiercely modern. She is sheltered and self-involved, until the spirit of an Indian woman warrior enters her being, then she dares to join a revolutionary movement against a violent dictator and—through the power of love—finds the courage to act.

The Wisconsin edition is for sale only in North America.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The politics of Latin American revolution offer a worthy subject here, but Nicaraguan-born poet Belli seldom rises to the challenge. Lavinia, an independent young woman of privileged background, takes a job as an architect as a means of supporting herself and her newly inherited home. Entering into a romantic relationship with Felipe, a fellow architect given to mysterious absences, she soon discovers his secret: he is a member of the National Liberation Movement, a group dedicated to freeing their imaginary Latin American country from an oppressive dictator. Encouraged by the Movement's nurse, Lavinia becomes progressively more involved in the budding revolution until finally, after Felipe dies, she decides to take his place in a military operation. Intended to chronicle Lavinia's awakening political consciousness, the novel never rises above the level of propaganda, as oppressors and oppressed alike are portrayed as mere stereotypes of good and evil. A touch of magical realism, in the character of an Indian woman who fought the conquistadores and whose spirit now inhabits a tree outside Lavinia's house, ultimately adds little to a disappointing treatment of a topic that deserves better novelistic exploration. (July)
Library Journal
In an unnamed Central American country in the early 1970s, young, rich, beautiful, and talented Lavinia Alarcn yearns for more fulfillment than her privileged background has provided. She finds it in a career as an architect, a love affair with her colleague Felipe, and their membership in a revolutionary group dedicated to the overthrow of The Great General, the country's autocratic ruler. Appearing throughout the book is the Nahuatl warrior-woman Itz, whose 16th-century struggle against Spanish conquistadors had led to her death and metempsychotic reappearance in the orange tree in Lavinia's garden, from which she observes, and perhaps influences, the action. Lavinia is asked to design a new house for General Vela, The Great General's righthand man, and accepts with the idea of providing valuable information to her group. Felipe is shot just prior to an attack on Vela's house, but before dying he convinces Lavinia to take his place on the assault team, with dire consequences. Although some of the action is melodramatic and Belli's characters are often stereotypes, her writing moves events swiftly to an exciting climax. For literary collections.-Harold Augenbraum, Mercantile Lib., New York
Brad Hooper
Belli is a well-regarded poet from Nicaragua, now resident in the U.S. Her novel is already a best-seller in other parts of the world, and it's a credit to this publisher that it's now being presented to American readers. Lavinia is a young professional woman in an unnamed Latin American country, born into privilege and European trained. She dreamt of constructing buildings, leaving her mark, giving warmth and harmony to the concrete of the capital city. Lavinia is not to be the master of her own destiny, however, because she comes to be inhabited by the spirit of a woman indigenous to the area at the time of the Spanish conquest. As this woman of a previous age had used her energies as a force against the oppressor, so she compels Lavinia to use hers to fight against the political oppression of her contemporary world. An inviting novel of love, politics, and history, steeped in magical realism, served in rich prose.
From the Publisher
"A passionate story of love, courage, solidarity, and death, where  . . . the lives of the characters are intertwined with the destiny of a country."—Isabel Allende

"An inviting novel of love, politics, and history, steeped in magical realism, served in rich prose."—Booklist

"One of the most gifted writers to have come out of Central America . . . a wonderfully free and original talent."—Harold Pinter

"A kind of public love poetry that comes closer to expressing the passion of [Nicaragua] than anything I have yet heard."—Salman Rushdie

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781880684177
Publisher:
Northwestern University Press
Publication date:
07/01/1994
Edition description:
1st English language ed
Pages:
412
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 8.82(h) x 1.69(d)
Lexile:
840L (what's this?)

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What People are saying about this

Harold Pinter
One of the most gifted writers to have come out of Central America in the last ten years...A wonderfully free and original talent.
Salman Rushdie
Her work is a kind of public love poetry that comes closer to expressing the passion of her country than anything I have yet heard.

Meet the Author

Gioconda Belli joined the FSLN in 1970 and was in the Nicaraguan underground resistance until 1975 when she had to flee the Somoza regime’s secret police and go into exile. During her exile, she participated in several logistical operations. After Somoza was ousted and the Sandinistas came to power, she held government positions but resigned her political appointments to become a full time writer in 1986. She divides her time between Managua and Los Angeles.

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