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Rag Doll Plagues
     

Rag Doll Plagues

by Alejandro Morales
 

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The time-line is cyclical and eternal, as a doctor and his descendants are condemned to enter into an ever-consuming battle with a mysterious plague in three separate moments in history: colonial Mexico, contemporary California, and the next century in a newly emerged country. Power relationships and the social fabric of three settings are intricately detailed by

Overview

The time-line is cyclical and eternal, as a doctor and his descendants are condemned to enter into an ever-consuming battle with a mysterious plague in three separate moments in history: colonial Mexico, contemporary California, and the next century in a newly emerged country. Power relationships and the social fabric of three settings are intricately detailed by Morales in his fashioning of a history which at the same time is seen through lenses of the magic and supernatural. The magical realists of Latin America have their Chicano inheritor and his name is Alejandro Morales.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mexican fiction writer Morales ( Brick People ) exhibits his range in a novel showing Hispanic doctors battling deadly infectious diseases over three centuries. The first section, a rather formal historical account, tells of an 18th-century Spanish physician sent to Mexico to diagnose and cure a plague, LaMona. The epidemic eventually subsides by itself, but the physician has fallen in love with New Spain and decided to make it his home. A contemporary Hispanic doctor living in Los Angeles affectingly narrates the book's second portion. When his wife, a hemophiliac, contracts AIDS through a contaminated blood transfusion, he takes her to Mexico to participate in an Indian healing ritual; although spiritually uplifting, the ceremony cannot halt the disease's ravages. The second doctor's grandson, also a physician, relates the final story, set in the future. A plague eerily similar to LaMona sweeps the population of Lamex, a U.S./Mexican technocratic confederation. The medical establishment is helpless until the narrator discovers that transfusions from pure-blooded Mexico City residents will cure the disease--the metropolis is so hideously polluted that its inhabitants' blood has genetically mutated, developing an antibody to the plague. Morales's unabashed ethnic chauvinism becomes hard to take: AIDS, it appears, was invented in a U.S. laboratory and exported to Africa; the Anglo-European presence that has oppressed Mexicans for centuries finally gets its just deserts in the SF finale. However, inventive writing and interesting premises spark the work. (Jan.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
In this slim trilogy, written in the tradition of magic realism, Mexican American author Morales offers an imaginative, prophetic work that readers will find both intriguing and challenging. He puts forward three separate stories of life, death, and disease in colonial Mexico, present-day Mexico and Southern California, and mid-21st century technocratic Lames (Los Angeles and Mexico). Not only plot elements but the poetic use of language thread the stories together, adding a surreal quality that forces the reader to examine the changing nature of the Mexican landscape, health issues, and cultural values. The stories are further held together by two central characters, Father Gregory and Papa Damian. These three gripping pieces help the reader gain insight into some of the ethical questions facing modern society. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries, particularly those with interests in Hispanic issues.-- Mary Molinaro, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558851047
Publisher:
Arte Publico Press
Publication date:
01/28/1992
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
200
Sales rank:
392,233
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

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