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Goddess of the Americas Paperback – October 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade; Reprint edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573226300
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573226301
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico who made her first appearance in Mexico in 1531, is the theme of the poems and other writings in this book. The writings that novelist Castillo (Loverboys, 1996) gathers are personal stories about the Virgin's place in Hispanic, Catholic, Aztec, folkloric and feminist cultures, mythologies and traditions. The marvelous stories and poems in this collection center on the Virgin of Guadalupe as cultural and conceptual icon.This is an entertaining read for readers willing to look outside traditional understandings of the Marian theology to a broader horizon in which the religious and the cultural intersect.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The goddess of the Americas is the Virgin of Guadalupe, a transcendent spiritual figure revered as a manifestation of the cosmic female force, a "divine protectress, and a font of "unconditional, ever-present maternal love," according to Castillo, whose brilliant introduction sets the tone for this profoundly moving and original collection of writings about the goddess. Castillo, author of Loverboys , invited a group of passionate writers to share their thoughts about the Virgin of Guadalupe, an intimate topic that inspired powerful, poignant, and revelatory essays, dramatic narratives, and poems. Both Castillo and Sandra Cisneros share intensely private girlhood memories in which the goddess shaped their understanding of womanhood. Richard Rodriguez ponders the Virgin's uniting of Spanish and Indian faiths, and Ruben Martinez, in "The Undocumented Virgin," links sightings of the Virgin to the Zapitista uprising and anti-immigration sentiment in California. Luis Rodriguez reflects on the spiritual quests of gang members, some of whom have the Virgin of Guadalupe tattooed on their backs, and Rosario Ferrereports on the Virgin in Puerto Rico. Other contributors to this mind-expanding and soulful anthology include Octavio Paz, Elena Poniatowska, Pat Mora, and Denise Chavez. Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Cherie L. Rouse on November 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This marvelous book provides well-written, engaging essays and stories by a playwright, a commedian, a novelist, a historian, an anthropologist, and others who explain who the Virgin of Guadalupe is and why Mexicans, Central Americans, and others of the American Southwest venerate her and pray to her as their main contact with the Divine. The writers, almost all distinguished Latinos, suggest that the Virgin of Guadalupe is a direct descendant of the ancient gods and goddesses of central America, and that furthermore, she is a primary feminine face of the Divine. She may be the only appearance of the Virgin Mary to a poor, illiterate person of an indigenous people, and like the Indians of Mexico, whom she visited, she is dark-skinned. (She is also pregnant.) Her appearance to an Indian man, Juan Diego, shows her empathy with blue-collar workers and migrant laborers and with the oppressed and down-trodden. Therefore, she receives a tremendous outpouring of love and adoration, especially on the December anniversary of her appearance to Juan Diego. Hundreds of thousands in central America, Mexico, and the American Southwest hold her dear as a feminine Divine figure who is the warm, personal confidante and helper of women, the abused, and evolutionaries. On making her acquaintance, famous essayist Nancy Mairs converted to Catholicism--a feminist version of Catholicism. On reading this book, I, myself, a Protestant gringa, went right out and bought myself a humble grocery-store candle portraying Guadalupe and began burning it, in solidarity with poor and oppressed women everywhere, and to present my own, personal concerns to the Divine. Since, I've met other women who have responded in the very same way. This book expands one's understanding of culture and history and also enriches one's spirituality.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
These essays by modern writers on the Virgen de Guadalupe are incredible. It is so wonderful to read these writers thoughts and feelings on the Guadalupe. Since La Lupita is such a cultural icon both here in the US and in Mexico, I feel this is an important book. La Lupita permeates the consciousness of the Mexican and Chicano people and this book gives you a glimpse of that consciousness. This book is an education and a joy to have. You will read it over and over again.
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By Zulema H. Hormaeche on July 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
My book came in perfect condition, I am very happy!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RPANDTA on July 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Overall, this book has important essays. I dissent with the inclusion of Rosario Ferre's essay. A woman like Castillo who has gone so far to speak for the poor, goes down for the count by including a highly classist essay by Ferre. Her article is less about existance of an influence of La Guadalupe in Puerto Rico than about Ferre's own privileged upbringing with both a nurse and nanny in one. Ponce may have as its patron saint La Guadalupe but Ponce is old rich like Ferre's essay vividly portrays. I would have left this one out.
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6 of 15 people found the following review helpful By RobW on March 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Blessed Mother (Our Lady of Guadalupe) is NOT a goddess, she is the mother of God, and she never said she was a goddess in ANY of her apparitions. Avoid this book like the plague.
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