Of Love and Other Demons

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Of Love and Other Demons Fiction
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Product Description

On her twelfth birthday, Sierva Maria - the only child of a decaying noble family in an 18th-century South American seaport - is bitten by a rabid dog. Believed to be possessed, she is brought to a convent for observation. And into her cell stumbles Father Cayetano Delaura, who has already dreamed about a girl with hair trailing after her like a bridal train. As he tends to her with holy water and sacramental oils, Delaura feels something shocking begin to occur. He has fallen in love - and it is not long until Sierva Maria joins him in his fevered misery. 'Unsettling and indelible.' 160p.

Editorial Reviews

~ A bittersweet-comic version of all living things anchors this enchanting short novel by the acknowledged master of magical realism (Strange Pilgrims, 1993, etc.). In flat, reportorial tones (perfectly captured in Grossman's eloquent translation), the 1982 Nobelwinner spins an extravagant tale of ethnic contrast and cosmic dislocation, set in a Colombian- like South American backwater near the Caribbean Sea. When 12-year- old Sierva Mar a, only child of a desiccated marquis and his dissolute lowborn wife, is bitten by a rabid dog, the girl's mendacious disposition and unsophisticated demeanor are interpreted as signs of demonic possession. Held captive in an austere convent, she is denounced by a bigoted abbess, befriended by a kindly murderer, and adored from afar, then more intimately, by Father Cayetano Delaura, the diocese librarian whose surprised discovery of passion both complicates and transfigures his bookish, selfless existence. The tale of their thwarted love resonates down the years as a union of opposites that's all but anathema to a culture whose prosperity is built on a thriving slave trade and whose privileged classes live in fear that their servants will rise up and murder them in their beds. Garc a M rquez mockingly breaks down conventional barriers between not just masters and servants, but also whites and blacks, clergy and laity, humans and animals. This is a world in which bats drain the blood of sleeping humans, a 100- year-old horse is buried in holy ground, and a learned physician imperturbably straddles the metaphysical boundaries separating life and death. In a society distinguished by ``so much mixing of bloodlines,'' it is implied, people and things blend into and become one another--despite the repressive exertions of wealth and power, and the delusory authority of a religion that sees demons in every instance of dissent or independence. Written with masterly economy, brimming with colorful episodes and vividly sketched characters: a haunting, cautionary tale that ranks among the author's best. Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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