"Money was maliciously introduced in ancient times as a tool of enslavement" -
Michael Tellinger

"The present belongs to the future and future generations, and all old laws, religious and other, should be abrogated immediately. Free us!" - Vinay Gupta on Twitter

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." - R. Buckminster Fuller

"You find the strangest ways to be positive!" - Diane Duane, Wizards Abroad

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tales from the Town of Widows & Chronicles from the Land of Men by James CAÑÓN (2007) (book review)

In this Latin American fable, the Colombia countryside has been devastated by 40 years of civil war. Leftist guerrillas, rightist paramilitaries, and government soldiers come to the village spouting different political slogans, but leave indistinguishable horror in their wake. In Mariquita, soldiers arrive to demand volunteers; when none are forthcoming, they kill or kidnap the men and traumatize the women and children.

The men gone, the women flounder at first, bereft; old rivalries are indulged, the town's infrastructure deteriorates, and Mariquita is increasingly cut off from the outside world. The inhabitants are often exasperating, but their postapocalyptic yet nonviolent village is a vivid setting for human nature to be revealed and culture reinvented.

Ultimately the remaining inhabitants create a way of life suited to their resources and their female realities, and it is a delight to see this process unfold. The women's stories (and those of the few remaining males, all with unforgettable stories of their own) have the flavor of folktales—tragic, funny, rich, and magical. In briefer alternating episodes, men's stories of their experiences in the war are related in starkly realistic, intense fashion.

The theme of a world in which women and men are separated and pursue divergent paths is always intriguing, and has been explored by a number of fine writers in science fiction, fantasy, polemic, and utopian modes. This title stands among the best of them.

(review written for SLJ, somewhat revised)

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Ummm, I feel another blog about these separated gender societies coming on... Joanna Russ, Philip Wylie, and more!

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