Boullosa, Carmen. Leaving Tabasco.

Author:Smith, Debra Mitts
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article

Grove dist. by Publishers Group West. 244p. c1999. 0-8021-3860-8. $13.00. SA

When this novel opens, in the winter of 1997, Delmira, exiled from her native Mexico for 30 years, is living in Germany, working as an editor and translator of works by Latin American authors. In the bleakness of that winter she begins to look back at her childhood in Agustini, Mexico, a place and climate that stand in stark contrast to the dreariness of Berlin. Two years of her childhood make up the main story of this work. We meet Delmira, in 1961, age eight, living with her mother and grandmother in an all-female household that seems devoid of any loving feelings for her. The story fast forwards to 1967, when Delmira, now age 14, begins to awaken to the possibilities of a life outside of Agustini. Befriended by a teacher from the local public school, Delmira first rebels against her family by going to the public school, where she mixes with those from the lower classes. This eventually leads to her taking part in a political demonstration, which leads to her arrest and exile. But this story is not only Delmira's. Interspersed with her childhood memories are the stories of her grandmother. It is from these stories that the reader gets a clearer understanding of how the town was settled and how those of European descent slowly lost economic and...

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