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Tales from the town of widows : & chronicles from the land of men
James Canon
Adult Fiction CANON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

On November 15, 1992, the men of the tiny Colombian town of Mariquita are forced by guerillas to join or die on the spot, which some do. The town's women enter a particularly grievous widowhood. Chapters covering the years that follow chronicle the town's decay and introduce women struggling to survive without men and without meaningful government. Cleotilde Guarnizo, a traveler seeking respite, is hired to be the schoolteacher. Dona Emilia laments the loss of clients for her brothel. Magnolia Morales, meanwhile, forms a group devoted to reminiscing about the men, which becomes a "magical whorehouse," where lonely women seduce men from neighboring Honda before they reach Dona Emilia's. After a storm washes away the access road leading to the village, the citizens no longer have contact with the outside world, and their haphazard magistrate Rosalba introduces the "Procreation Campaign," where 29 women have sexual relations with the lascivious priest (who turns out to be sterile). Throughout the narrative are short, first-person testimonies from the men, detailing their exploits (which sadden some while making others rejoice). Although Canon, making his debut, crafts characters that shine, the book plods, only picking up speed when the women make a final attempt at uniting and reorganizing their community. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Get ready for a refreshing dip into the waters of a rich imagination with this debut novel, which centers on the lives of 100 contemporary women living in a remote Colombian village called Mariquita. After the village's men are killed or forced to join a guerrilla group, the women eke out a squalid existence, enduring drought, food shortages, and a flu epidemic. Faced with a hopeless future, they reject the traditional male concept of governance and rebuild an independent, caring community closely connected with nature. Contrasting with the humorous if sometimes disturbing events in the lives of these uncommon women is the hostile world of the village men, who are involved in gruesome warfare and torture. The story of these women touches our deepest emotions and reveals fundamental needs and concerns, such as the vulnerability felt by Rasalba, the town's new magistrate, after she accepts the love of another woman. This exciting book confirms the idea that our world would be far better off in the caring hands of women-especially the women from Mariquita. Highly recommended.-David A. Berona, Plymouth State Univ., NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Cleotide Guarnizo
Female
Traveling stranger hired to be a teacher.
Teacher

Magnolia Morales
Female
Forms a group devoted to reminiscing about the men who left; seduces men from neighboring towns.

Dona Emilia
Female
Grieves over the loss of her clients of her brothel.
Madam



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