A Perfect Silence

Overview

A PERFECT SILENCE is Alba Ambert's novel about a Puerto Rican woman brought up in the South Bronx and her struggles to break the cycle of poverty and oppression which has plagued her family for generations. As both child and adult, Blanca was abused by both people and the economic system the creates the meanest, most violent ghettoes. In Bianca, Ambert explores how oppression breeds violence and entraps people, even after they escape poverty and become successful. Once Bianca breaks out of the ghetto, she is not ...
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Overview

A PERFECT SILENCE is Alba Ambert's novel about a Puerto Rican woman brought up in the South Bronx and her struggles to break the cycle of poverty and oppression which has plagued her family for generations. As both child and adult, Blanca was abused by both people and the economic system the creates the meanest, most violent ghettoes. In Bianca, Ambert explores how oppression breeds violence and entraps people, even after they escape poverty and become successful. Once Bianca breaks out of the ghetto, she is not free; there is a severe emotional price to pay. She suffers the pain of living between two cultures, two languages, two ways of perceiving the world; she is caught in the emotional limbo of a dual identity.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Poet and short-story writer Ambert's first novel chronicles the harrowing tale of a young woman pulled unwillingly through life in New York's South Bronx. Blanca battles poverty, abuse and despair, but her toughest confrontation is with her own memories. "The memory is not clear, but reeks of an atavistic sadness, passive for centuries," she muses. "Atavistic sadness" might suggest the novel is a statement on the Puerto Rican people, in which case it might have resonated. But the events of one young woman's life are doled out relentlessly to the reader like so many strikes of a hammer. The novel begins with Blanca's most recent suicide attempt-her way of fighting the persistent oppression of recollection. Yet, although the story is written partly in the first person and recounts many of Blanca's abysmal experiences, it circles around reflection without defining the core of the problem. One feels that the author is trying hard but unsuccessfully to expose a devastating truth in these pages, but the suffocating atmosphere of this relentlessly depressing story traps the reader inside Blanca's "dark pain" without catharsis or surcease.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Poet and short-story writer Ambert's first novel chronicles the harrowing tale of a young woman pulled unwillingly through life in New York's South Bronx. Blanca battles poverty, abuse and despair, but her toughest confrontation is with her own memories. ``The memory is not clear, but reeks of an atavistic sadness, passive for centuries,'' she muses. ``Atavistic sadness'' might suggest the novel is a statement on the Puerto Rican people, in which case it might have resonated. But the events of one young woman's life are doled out relentlessly to the reader like so many strikes of a hammer. The novel begins with Blanca's most recent suicide attempt-her way of fighting the persistent oppression of recollection. Yet, although the story is written partly in the first person and recounts many of Blanca's abysmal experiences, it circles around reflection without defining the core of the problem. One feels that the author is trying hard but unsuccessfully to expose a devastating truth in these pages, but the suffocating atmosphere of this relentlessly depressing story traps the reader inside Blanca's ``dark pain'' without catharsis or surcease. (Mar.)
Library Journal
The University of Houston's Arte Pblico Press reconfirms its niche as a major publisher of Hispanic American works by introducing readers to these four new novels by Latinas. Both Ambert and Espinosa explore abusephysical, sexual, emotionalas metaphors for women's subjugation and degradation. Ambert's A Perfect Silence examines the case of Blanca, a young Puerto Rican whose life alternates between Puerto Rico and New York; she endeavors to escape poverty and abuse through education, only to find that the price is madness. Chilean-born Adrianne, of Espinosa's Dark Plums, goes from nearly nonstop casual sexual encounters with men and women to brutal prostitution but ultimately, like Blanca, emerges with a whole, if bruised, identity. Lachtman's more traditional novel examines the life of Angela Martn/Angela Raines. At the age of nine, living in the barrio of Depression-era Los Angeles, Angela agonizingly learns that it is a crime to be Mexican as she witnesses her adored father's unjust beating and arrest by immigration authorities. Twenty-year-old Angela formally rejects her Mexican heritage as she marries an Anglo and becomes a perfect suburban housewife. Thirty years later, with a reprieve from cancer, Angela finally attempts to heal the wounds that bifurcate her two lives. Rivera's African Passions is a collection of eight interwoven stories about passionate Cuban American women. Recurring characters, family relationships, and the Jersey City Hispanic barrio connect the stories, as does Rivera's delicious sense of humor. These first novels are all appropriate for Latino and women's literature collections in academic and large public libraries.Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinnville, Ore.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558851252
  • Publisher: Arte Publico Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 234
  • Product dimensions: 5.91 (w) x 8.77 (h) x 0.99 (d)

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