A Matter of Pride and Other Storiesby Nicholasa Mohr
A young bride, Paula, who on her honeymoon weighs the price she must pay to honor her marriage vows; a dutiful
A celebration of the female spirit connects these seven stories of Latino women in this new collection by Nicholasa Mohr. The art of Mohr's storytelling has never been more acute. As the tales unfold, unforgettable characters come to life in these pages:
A young bride, Paula, who on her honeymoon weighs the price she must pay to honor her marriage vows; a dutiful Carmen Alvarez, who has been rejected by her long-time boyfriend, enters tile supernatural to seek revenge; Ana, while on holiday in a remote village in the Dominican Republic, finds herself at a drag queen show where she is challenged to re-define the joy of being female.
These compelling accounts set in New York City and the Caribbean transcend generational and gender barriers with themes that embrace honor, rites of passage, liberation and death. Once again, with poignant humor and compassion, Mohr demonstrates her mastery as a writer of short fiction.
Told in a disappointing prose that explains rather than explores, Mohr's tales all touch on the lives of displaced women coming to terms with the restrictions of their culture. The title piece is symptomatic: In 1959, Paula and Charlie leave their native New York for a honeymoon in Puerto Rico. Paula expects the vacation of her dreams, but Charlie takes off with some old buddies and refuses to return until he's had his bit of funwhich leaves Paula in the restrictive house of relatives, where she's told how a new Puerto Rican wife is to act: A husband's infidelities are expected, and ironing his shirts so that he's presentable to his mistress is a matter of domestic pride. Paula realizes that she can't live so limited a life and opts for independence. Several stories are identical in agenda, depicting young Puerto Rican New Yorkers breaking free of their oppressive relationships with domineering men to explore their own identities. "Memories: R.I.P." diverges in telling the tale of a close-knit family in the 1950s torn apart when an older brother starts to sell heroin from their South Bronx apartment. Younger sister Patty returns to the old neighborhood many years later to witness the urban decay that the onslaught of drugsand indirectly her own family's complicityhelped create. "Utopia, and the Super Estrellas" presents a congenial portrait of transvestites in a remote mountain village, but the few stories that transcend the author's narrow pattern don't do enough to make up for the overall sameness of the collection.
Mohr (Rituals of Survival, 1985), also a children's author, attempts a feminist interpretation, but the conclusions are often more facile than persuasive.
- Arte Publico Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 0.44(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews