Review: The Lady Matador’s Hotel by Cristina Garcia

The new Christina Garcia’s novel will be out soon. Here is a review

The Lady Matador’s Hotel
By Cristina Garcia
Scribner, 209 pages

Reviewed by Carolyn Alessio, special to the Tribune

Thirteen years ago, while spending a summer in a squatter settlement of Guatemala, I saw many incongruous things, ranging from armed guards atop a Pepsi truck to a stray dog grooming itself during Sunday Mass. One of the most memorable juxtapositions, though, was a man standing at a makeshift bus station on a dirt road carrying a bag that announced “Crimson Travel, Harvard Square.”

Cristina Garcia’s astonishing new novel, “The Lady Matador’s Hotel,” captures many of Guatemala’s funny and grim contradictions, and probes their often freighted origins. Garcia, the author of the lyrical and forceful “Dreaming in Cuban,” a National-Book-Award Finalist, as well as several other acclaimed novels, fearlessly explores a desperate country’s extremes without descending to sentimentalism and clichés. As an author, Garcia is a skilled matadora, or woman matador.

Though the setting of the novel is described only as an “unnamed Central American capital in the midst of political turmoil,” the country bears countless resemblances to Guatemala. A corrupt lawyer runs a breeding factory for babies to export to wealthy American couples; colonels of the country’s long, grisly Civil War lounge around a luxury hotel trying to repackage themselves for upcoming elections; Korean businessmen run textiles factories that exploit workers but still can’t compete with the production levels of China.

Read full article @ The Chicago Tribune

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~ by eneryvibes on 1,August 22, 2010.

One Response to “Review: The Lady Matador’s Hotel by Cristina Garcia”

  1. […] themes: Review The Lady Matador’s Hotel by Christina […]

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