Widows by Ariel Dorfman
A Novel

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Synopsis

Set in a Greek village in 1942, and purportedly written from his imagination by a Danish man before he was picked up by the Gestapo and not seen again, here is Ariel Dorfman’s haunting and universal parable of individual courage in the face of political oppression. Widows forms a testament to the disappeared—those living under totalitarian regimes the world over, who are taken away for "questioning" and never return.
One by one, the bodies of men wash up on the shore of the river, where they are claimed by the women of the local town as husbands and fathers, even though the faces of the dead men are unrecognizable. A tug-of-war ensues between the local police, who insist that the women couldn’t possibly recognize their loved ones, and the women demanding the right to bury their beloveds. As it evolves, the stand-off reveals itself to be a power struggle between love, dignity and honor, and the lesser god of brute force. A lesson in how power really works, and how it can be made to work differently.
 

About Ariel Dorfman

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Ariel Dorfman, the Chilean novelist, playwright, journalist, poet, and human rights activist was forced into exile form his homeland following the Chilean military coup of 1973. Since the restoration of democracy in 1990, he has divided his time between Santiago and the United States. Among his many works are the memoir Heading South, Looking North and the highly acclaimed play Death and the Maiden. His writings have won numerous awards, including the Sir Laurence Olivier Award for best play in London, 1992. He contributes regularly to major newspapers and magazines around the world. He is a distinguished professor at Duke University and lives with his wife Angélica, in Durham, North Carolina, and Santiago, Chile. From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published January 4, 2011 by Seven Stories Press. 168 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

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His point, at the end, is made starkly: ""There were the bodies that someone was dumping with premeditated efficiency upriver, the bodies that would go on turning up later, perhaps by accident, in cesspools, ravines, crossroads, and they'd have to keep killing so that no one would ask where they ...

May 16 1983 | Read Full Review of Widows: A Novel

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