In the Name of Salome
A NovelBook - 2000
Camila Henriquez Urena is about to retire from her longtime job teaching Spanish at Vassar College. Only now as she sorts through family papers does she begin to know the woman behind the legend of her mother, the revered Salome Urena, who died when Camila was three.
In stark contrast to Salome, who became the Dominican Republic's national poet at the age of seventeen, Camila has spent most of her life trying not to offend anybody. Her mother dedicated her life to educating young women to give them voice in their turbulent new nation; Camila has spent her life quietly and anonymously teaching the Spanish pluperfect to upper-class American girls with no notion of revolution, no knowledge of Salome Urena.
Now, in 1960, Camila must choose a final destination for herself. Where will she spend the rest of her days? News of the revolution in Cuba mirrors her own internal upheaval. In the process of deciding her future, Camila uncovers the truth of her mother's tragic personal life and, finally, finds a place for her own passion and commitment.
Julia Alvarez has won a large and devoted audience by brilliantly illuminating the history of modern Caribbean America through the personal stories of its people. As a Latina, as a poet and novelist, and as a university professor, Julia Alvarez brings her own experience to this exquisite story.
Baker & Taylor
Camila, whose mother, Salome, inspired a Dominican revolution with her poetry, spends most of her life trying to please her father and her brothers, all prominent men, before seeking a place for herself in the days following the Cuban revolution
Blackwell North Amer
This novel tells the story of two women - mother and daughter, one a poet, the other a teacher - and how they confronted the machismo in two Caribbean revolutions. Set in the politically chaotic Dominican Republic of the late nineteenth century, on the campuses of three American universities, and in the idealistic Communist Cuba of the 1960s, this story is based on the real lives of a volatile, opinionated, romantic, intrigue-loving family.
Salome Urena's fervent patriotic poems turned her - at seventeen - into the Dominican Republic's national icon. In stark contrast, her daughter, Camila, shy and self-effacing, bent to accommodate the demands of her father and brothers (a president, an ambassador, an international literary star) - trying to hide her preference for women, to stay out of the spotlight, and to offend no one. Whereas her mother dedicated her brief life to educating Dominican girls to serve their turbulent new nation, Camila spent her career anonymously explaining the Spanish pluperfect to upper-class American girls.
We meet Camila in 1960 when she is sixty-five years old and about to retire from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. This is Camila's last chance to choose a final destiny for herself. In the process of deciding, Camila uncovers first the reality of her mother's tragic personal life and, finally, where she must place her own kind of passion and commitment.
Latina poet and university professor Alvarez brings many common bonds to this novel based on "la musa de la patria," Salome Urena, and her daughter, Profesora Camila Henriquez-Urena. Not the least of these is an undaunted female stance from inside a powerful Caribbean family.
In a novel that spans more than one hundred years in Caribbean history, Camila Henrfquez Ure±a struggles to come to terms with the legacy of her renowned mother, SalomT Ure±a, the revered poet laureate of the Dominican Republic, who died when Camila was three. By the author of In the Time of the Butterflies. 40,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo. Reader's Guide available.