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Book of Lamentations

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  182 ratings  ·  14 reviews
One of the great masterpieces of contemporary Latin American fiction, Rosario Castellanos's The Book of Lamentations, which tells of an uprising of Mayan Indians in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, is now more relevant than ever, with the uprising of the Mayan Zapatista Liberation Army currently taking place in Chiapas and similar ethnic conflicts erupting across the ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published December 1st 1996 by Marsilio Publishers (first published 1962)
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This is the imagined tale of rebellion in Chiapas of Mexico in the 1930s. It is based on some real Mayan rebellions in the mid 1800s and the author’s experiences as a youth (b1925-d1974) and was written in 1962. The book is renowned for literary studies (I gather this from the copious notes and also guess this as my second-hand copy appeared to have been through at least 3 readers each extensively marking passages) and not least because it later transpires a real uprising occurred in 1994 (Zapat ...more
A native of Chiapas, the southern state of Mexico best known today for the 1994 Zapatista uprising led by Subcomandante Marcos, Rosario Castellanos was a poet, novelist and journalist who came to prominence during the Latin American Boom. Perhaps because so many writers of that generation achieved worldwide recognition—García Márquez, Vargas Llosa, Carpentier, Cortázar, Borges, Fuentes and Asturias—Castellanos, one of the few women writers of the generation, was somewhat overshadowed.

Perhaps, to
Joyce Lagow
Published in 1962, The book of Lamentations is a fictional story set in the 1930s; it is loosely based on a Mayan uprising that took place in the Mexican state of Chiapas in the mid-19th century.[return][return]Even more than a fictionalized account of a true story, the book is a devastating indictment of the Ladino oppression of the native Mayans; the brutal treatment of the Mayans as much less than human beings, the casual, common rape of the Mayan women, the lies by which the Mayans are enlis ...more
Andrés R. G.
«¿Dónde vas caminando, Catalina Díaz Puiljá? ¿Encima de la tierra o adentro de tu alma?»

Esta novela, en primera, me dio la oportunidad de confirmar lo que ya sospechaba: Rosario Castellanos es mejor prosista que poeta. Oficio de tinieblas no relata solamente las injusticias perpetradas contra los chamulas en Chiapas, sino que hace un retrato, entre las referencias y las invenciones, de la sociedad de San Cristóbal de las Casas (Ciudad Real) durante una parte del periodo presidencial de Lázaro C
Martin Hernandez
Excelentemente escrita, leer esta novela es un gusto, al mismo tiempo que un asomo al asombroso mundo chamula, su relación con los coletos, el maltrato de cientos de años...
En una entrevista, la escritora explicó que "Oficio de tinieblas está basada en un hecho histórico: el levantamiento de los indios chamulas, en San Cristóbal, el año de 1867. Este hecho culminó con la crucifixión de uno de estos indios, al que los amotinados proclamaron como el Cristo indígena. Por un momento, y por ese hecho
if you want to know more about the conditions native american people in Chiapas live, and perhaps resons as to their rebelion, read this book. based on events of a previous rebelion in the same region.
i thought the writing was beautiful, and very poetic at times...the book started off really well but the end was pretty disappointing and left me a bit perplexed...maybe i just didn't get it?!
Bethany Bresee
Only made it through the third chapter before deciding it is not worth my time. Hard to read, boring, not my kind of book. I don't typically jump ship from a book but this one's bad.
Laura Avellaneda-Cruz
A brilliantly-written story about an indigenous uprising in rural Chiapas a century or so ago and the religious/land/economic/cultural conflicts that led up to it
Not so bad, pero hay una parte en medio como de 80 páginas que me parecieron francamente innecesarias, incluso pesadas. El resto está bien, muy en su estilo.
20th Century Latin American Novel w/ Doug Weatherford. I don't really remember the book, so the rating is just a guess.
Sep 18, 2008 Manuel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Latinos
Powerful story that intelligent Latinos should read.
Everyone else will only get the rebellious teen angle.
Aug 24, 2007 Rachel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mexican lit. readers; fiction readers; feminist readers; postcolonial readers
Very personal, powerful portrayal of colonial relationships in Mexico.
Heartbreaking meditation on power -- or the lack of it.
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Rosario Castellanos Figueroa (25 May 1925 – 7 August 1974) was a Mexican poet and author. Along with the other members of the Generation of 1950 (the poets who wrote following the Second World War, influenced by César Vallejo and others), she was one of Mexico's most important literary voices in the last century. Throughout her life, she wrote eloquently about issues of cultural and gender oppress ...more
More about Rosario Castellanos...
Balún Canán El eterno femenino Álbum de familia Mujer que sabe latín... Ciudad Real (City of Kings)

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“The sound is gone. There's nothing left but the insomniac throbbing of crickets. Crickets in the garden, the courtyard, the back courtyard. Close, domestic, identifiable. And those out in the country. Between all of them they raise, little by little, a wall that will keep out the thing that lies waiting for the tiniest crack of silence to steal through. The thing that is feared by all those who are sleepless, those who walk through the night, those who are lonely, children. That thing. The voice of the dead. ” 4 likes
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