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La mujer habitada

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,878 ratings  ·  230 reviews

Ganadora del Premio Casa de las Américas, la escritora nicaragüense Gioconda Belli es una de las voces más importantes de la nueva literatura latinoamericana.

La mujer habitada sumerge al lector en un mundo mágico y vital donde la resistencia ancestral del indígena al español se vincula a la rebelión femenina y a la insurgencia política de hoy. Lavinia abandona la casa de

Paperback, 347 pages
Published 2006 by Seix Barral (first published 1988)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  2,878 ratings  ·  230 reviews

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Yasmin Moghadamnia
I loved this story. This was one that I lived with for quite a while, like a long week. Lavinia reminds me so much of myself. I have always wanted to rebel against the archaic constraints of my home country. I wanted to be happy and free, and independent. When I finally had a chance to be myself, I got to know the unscrupulous society I had to deal with. Haughty clients who wouldn't understand a thing, lascivious supervisors who would hit on you up to the point that makes you quit, and all those ...more
Bilingual Librarian
Aug 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: latin-america
I read this book a few years ago, shortly after reading Belli's memoir, and found this to be very close to her own story. I liked the book's description of a young woman's struggle to balance the privilege she had been raised in and her new affiliation with a budding revolution.

If you liked this book, read her memoir as well, The Country Under my Skin, which is even better. This really shows the depth is her own struggle and the courage it took to walk the balance between both worlds.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't love this book until the end, and then it wasn't because of anything in particular that happened in it, but the way it felt after the end, with the whole story and world that was created in my mind at once.
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book about women, from one of the best contemporary writers in spanish language
Dec 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erin by: Emily Lemon
The best book I have read this year (so far). This book was perfect. Gioconda Belli wove together so many themes into this book flawlessly.

When I told people I was reading a book about a dead indigenous (Nahuatl?) woman who possesses an orange tree when its roots penetrated her dead body and then sort of inhabits a woman's body when she drinks her orange juice they think its weird. But the first paragraphs describing the possession of the orange tree by the deceased Itza are some of the most
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
La historia de dos mujeres guerreras, valientes seducidas por sus sueños. Confieso que prefiero la historia de la mujer que habita el naranjo.
The story of two warrior women, brave seduced by their dreams. I confess that I prefer the story of the woman who inhabits the orange tree.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Who Enjoy Magical Realist Fiction
This magical-realist novel, said to be based upon Belli's own experiences as a Sandanista, follows the parallel narratives of Lavinia, a modern-day Nicaraguan architect who becomes involved in the struggle to overthrow her country's dictator; and Itza, a 16th-century Nahuatl warrior-woman fighting the Spanish conquistadors. History is alive in more than a metaphorical sense in The Inhabited Woman, as the spirit of Itza, trapped in an orange tree, is literally consumed by Lavinia. When the time ...more
C 1988 Nicaragua
The back cover says the author is a representative of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua [i.e. in parliament?].
This sort of helps explain why the book seems like an apologia, a sort of cheerleading for the/a revolutionary movement.
It is very well done, in parts, showing the rev. movement from a very personal perspective of an educated, talented young woman who is a member of the elite. We see [or rather hear, in sometimes preachy monologues] her thinking changing on Women, the Lower
Mar 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I weren't too lazy to read this book in the original Spanish, because I think some of its power got lost in translation. It's also a bit dated, but I kind of loved that. It's set in the late 70s and early 80s in some unnamed Central American country but the author is Nicaraguan and it seems largely inspired by her involvement with the Sandinista movement. It was really compelling and readable and very evocative of a disco-dancing, ideology-embracing moment in tine. There's a parallel ...more
Sarah Bastianello
The book is certainly well written and the story is consistent. It is surely a enjoyable reading. Anyway I didn't love the character of Lavinia for most of the book. I found her quite immature and somehow childish, and not because of her inner struggles (which I think are cohrent with the situation she is) but more because of her behavior. I started liking her only at the end. I think that after reading The country beneath my skin, of which I really loved every single page, I felt some parts of ...more
Beatrice Marovich
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
I like the premise of this novel. There's a woman who is reincarnated through a tree. She takes possession of another woman, for lack of a better word, by producing oranges. The other woman makes orange juice, and the two women, from different epochs, classes, etc... become one actor/actress. I'm just not sure that, once all of this gets blended with a bit of subtle eroticism, and some vague plots for political revolution, that everything hangs together quite right.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Great premise for a novel, but I am nonplussed by the execution. "The Inhabited Woman" is far too preachy--tells too much but doesn't show enough. It technically passed my 50 page test, as I am almost to p. 100, but I have not been successfully transported to Belli's world, so I am pretty sure I won't finish this one. It could be an issue of translation. Who knows? This book is just not the magic realist magic carpet ride I had expected. Disappointing.
A must read, a touching story with well developed and interesting characters that invite you to self assess what it means to be a woman.
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fact that it took me seriously 5 years to read, it was pretty good. Since it was in spanish, I probably missed a lot, but the story was fascinating and the descriptions really placed you into this woman's life. It's about an educated, aristocratic young architect in central american who experiences a drastic internal transformation by becoming ingrained in the underground revolution against a tyrannical government. This occurs because she has become inhabited by the spirit of an ...more
Hans De Jonge
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read the book in 1983 during a holiday trip to Greece. La mujer habitada is a political and erotic book about a woman in the resistance in the Nicaragua of dictator Somoza. Good roman about the intimate feelings and friendships of a woman-soldier motivated freedom-fighter.Gioconda BelliBewohnte FrauLa donna abitataI have read it again in 1989 The Inhabited Woman
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing so far! Had to get through the suspending my reality part where the tree is inhabited by an ancient native woman, but now I can't put it down. Makes you ask yourself- how would I have reacted as a middle class, white collar woman in the context of a revolution and oppressive dictator in late 20th C Latin America???
Ok and just finished it. Crazy ending, definitely makes you think.
The writing is not amazing, but the story is fascinating, especially if you know that it is based loosely on
Beautiful imagery, gorgeous language, and a powerful story. A tale of justice, violence, totalitarianism, passion, fear, and history, all mingled together to create this wondrous piece of literature. From the memories and thoughts of Lavinia to the spirit and power of Itza, all of the senses were satisfied in my imagination, and certainly all the emotions gripped my heart. I am being very vague in this review because this is one of those books that cannot be given justice through words. You just ...more
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In order to fully enjoy this novel I think you have to be knowledgeable and in solidarity with the Nicaraguan Sandanista revolution. I wanted more, deeper insight into how Nicaraguans, especially the middle class, committed to the movement and how that changed them during the course of the revolution. Belli gives certain insights, especially concerning the role of women in the struggle, but the story only takes the reader up to the edge of the actual revolution. The weaving of the ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since I have so deeply related to a book and a character in this way. I see so much of myself and my own struggles in Lavinia; the crises of finding your own true identity and a sense of belonging, purpose and home. I also loved the way in which the story conceived of life after death and the idea of those who have passed on inhabiting the living spoke to me personally as I truly feel inhabited by the spirits of my grandmothers coinhabiting my own soul and mind. Also I ...more
Laura Martinez
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never read such a beautiful last line in a book. This book was amazing! It came as a surprise to know that it was Belli's first novel, somehow, it doesn't feel like it is.

This book speaks deeply and directly to a womens heart, it makes you know that there's always a rebellious side of us that hasn't been explored -let alone, fulfilled.

While I was reading it I cried, I cried and thought about how many times I've forgotten what's really important, what makes my heart giggle and how much of
As someone said I would, I enjoyed this much more than her memoir. I loved the first third of the memoir; I loved ALL of the novel. I like the story within the story (of the woman - a "real" historical figure, I gather - or, at least one who is the subject of many myths from the time of the Spanish Conquest of Nicaragua). And, I like the window into being a woman within a revolution; seems like it mirrors the roles played by women within the SDS and Black Panthers, etc. in the U.S. in an earlier ...more
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i LOVED this book. Gioconda is an amazing writer and I can only imagine how much better this book is in spanish! Definitely makes me want to brush up on my Spanish just so I can read it!
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read this book back in High School! To this day one of my favorite books!
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
both a great literary accomplishment and one of the best inside views of how a person of privileged background becomes a revolutionary, all told with a keen feminist perspective
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great!! If you are interested in contemporary Latin American History and revolution in Nicaragua... this is your book
Apr 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if it is as good in English. I read it in Spanish and loved the magical realism.
Interesting setting, dramatic. Interplay between the inhabited woman and the history that inhabits her swings a little too heavily modern at the expense of the historical. Worth a read.
Mar 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this in Spanish!
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dreamy meditation on freedom, independence, courage, politics, equality, love, and so much more.
Ana Lopes Miura
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is truly a special book. Its magical, sensual, and lyrical, and you will want to revisit it again and again. ...more
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Aljiberos: Lectura de Julio: La mujer habitada y Teoría King Kong 10 9 Jul 17, 2018 12:14PM  
Literary People: The Inhabited Woman 2 9 Oct 13, 2014 06:38AM  

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Gioconda Belli (born December 9, 1948 in Managua, Nicaragua) is a Nicaraguan author, novelist and poet.

Gioconda Belli, partly of Northern Italian descent, was an active participant in the Sandinista struggle against the Somoza dictatorship, and her work for the movement led to her being forced into exile in Mexico in 1975. Returning in 1979 just before the Sandinista victory, she became FSLN's
“Peace is the respect for the rights of the other person.” 4 likes
“الخوف ناصح سيئ” 3 likes
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