The Ships

The Ships

by Roberto Quesada
     
 

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Nothing is more exciting than the appearance of a new writer on the scene, opening new vistas on to a previously untraveled terrain. Roberto Quesada, the youngest and freshest new voice from Latin America, has been hailed by Latin American critics as "one of our most talented and original new writers" (Ramon Luis Acevedo) and ":.. among the most important latin… See more details below

Overview

Nothing is more exciting than the appearance of a new writer on the scene, opening new vistas on to a previously untraveled terrain. Roberto Quesada, the youngest and freshest new voice from Latin America, has been hailed by Latin American critics as "one of our most talented and original new writers" (Ramon Luis Acevedo) and ":.. among the most important latin American writers" (German Vargas). A novel of Central America, The Ships describes the occasional triumphs of daily life, usually in the form of silent laughter in a world of near poverty. It charts the progress of a young writer named Guillermo in the Honduran coastal town of La Ceiba. His nights alternate between falling deeply in love and loveless sexual escapades. His days are spent harvesting pineapples under a hot sun in the employ of the Standard Fruit Company. In the background there is a workers' strike at the plantation, a dance in La Ceiba, radio reports of the revolution going on in Nicaragua only a few hours' drive south, and the drone of American helicopters overhead. Quesada's world is topsy-turvy only in the sense that here human values of love and friendship dwarf the ostensibly much-larger corporate, military, and geopolitical issues.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Guillermo, a pineapple harvester on a Honduran plantation owned by the U.S. Standard Fruit company, is the narrator of this unsatisfying coming-of-age novel set on the eve of the Sandinistas' 1979 victory in Nicaragua. Despite its political overtones, this is basically the story of a young man with ambitions to become a writer. Guillermo falls in love with Idalia, a union organizer at the plantation, but his Latin sexual standards doom the romance after Idalia turns the tables and aggressively pursues him. Meanwhile, the growing tension between the dissatisfied workers at the plantation and their North American employers culminates in a strike. The ongoing revolution in Nicaragua is ever-present in the background, but the focus on Guillermo's personal feelings dampens the impact of major events. Only when military exercises begin in Honduran airspace and Guillermo examines his bitterness toward U.S. domination of his country's politics is another dimension added here. Although its premise is promising, the novel suffers from unsubstantial character development and an unsuccessful use of experimental techniques. Quesada edits the Honduran literary review Sobrevuelo ; the original Spanish-language edition of this novel was published in 1988. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780941423656
Publisher:
Avalon Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/11/1993
Series:
Central American Literature Series
Edition description:
A Four Walls Eight Windows 1st ed
Pages:
184
Product dimensions:
5.79(w) x 8.59(h) x 0.83(d)

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