|Of Forgotten Times is at once a novel of romance, a novel about mothers and daughters, and a novel of the dictator. Set in a fictional Caribbean island, it begins at the time of the conquistadores and ends in relatively modern times. The novel focuses on the stories of the women of two different families whose only point in common is the dictator who rules the island nation. One set of women, the Parduzes, is descendant of green-eyed slaves who practice voodoo-like rituals even through modern times in a village so distant from the major cities that its remoteness fuses with timelessness and where ancient practices continue to have relevance in the present. It takes an arranged marriage to the most powerful figure of the country to reconcile an abandoned daughter with her mother and consequently with their shared past. The other set of women, Luisa and Mercedes Valverde, is a mother and daughter who seek to find a way out of the endemic -conditions of poverty they live in. Through compromise and sacrifice they do eventually find their way out. Of Forgotten Times describes life in a country ruled by a ruthless, power-hungry, machista tyrant who is married to Herminia Parduz and whose lover, among others, is Mercedes Valverde.
Writer and filmmaker Marisela Rizik was born in Santo Domingo and has lived in Eugene, Oregon since 1981. Her stories, articles, and essays have appeared in various North American journals. Of Forgotten Times is her first novel, originally published in Spanish in Santo Domingo in 1996.
Translator Isabel Z. Brown is an associate professor of Spanish at The University of South Alabama in Mobile. Born in Paris, she has resided in various countries, including the Dominican Republic. She lives in Mobile, Alabama with her husband and their three children.
For more information on in-depth studies of Of Forgotten Times, please contact Dr. Isabel Z. Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
|Of Forgotten Times
The book Of Forgotten Times can not be put down easily. This reader was quickly pulled into the struggles of the women in the story. It seemed so sad to be limited to so few choices in life.
Yet in a strange way being suppressed sometimes made the women even stronger. I had sympathy with the rugged path Hermina had to endure to find herself. This helped ease the cruel realty of the setting. It is a story that needs to be told.
-K. N. Coe, Illinois
Unusual and compelling read
After I got involved in the book, I found it hard to put down - it is very interesting and unusual. I tried reading it in Spanish, but found it hard work, so read it in English and would recommend it to anyone. It is both an historical novel and a very sexy and compelling drama at the same time.
-Crow man, Portland, Oregon
Could not put it down
The author is my Spanish teacher and friend and I was not sure what to expect when I sat down to read her book. I thought and hoped it would be good. I intended to read a chapter or two and then prepare for bed. Instead I stayed up until I read it all, even delaying bathroom breaks until the last moment. I'm no critic and I'm prejudiced, of course, but I do know I love a book that compels me to keep reading and this one did that.
-Bob James, Eugene, OR
Each woman must find her own path to independence
Of Forgotten Times is a novel about women of two different families, whose only trait in common is their connection to the merciless and devastating dictator of their Caribbean homeland. Each woman must find her own path to independence, despite the tenuous hope of love and the pressures that seek to strip away each woman's identity. Originally published in Spanish in Santa Domingo in 1996, Of Forgotten Times has been skillfully translated into English and is a welcome contribution to international and women's literature.
-Midwest Book Review, Oregon, WI
Reviews & Articles
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