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Death and the Maiden Paperback – December 1, 1994
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From Library Journal
This powerful political drama and psychological thriller by the noted Chilean writer premiered in London last summer, where it won the Time Out Award for Best Play. In March it opened in the United States on Broadway, with direction by Mike Nichols and starring Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfuss, and Gene Hackman. The play focuses on a woman who finds herself in the position to exact revenge upon a man whom she believes to have been her torturer 15 years earlier. In telling this story, the author also addresses the dilemmas which touch all our lives: innocence and evil, truth and lies, forgiveness, and revenge. This is a worthwhile addition to modern drama collections.
- Howard E. Miller, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Missouri Lib., St. Louis
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Spanish --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Top customer reviews
The story concerns Gerardo Escobar and his wife Paulina, who live in a Latin American country that is never specified but is likely Chile. Several years ago the country underwent a military coup. Gerardo and Paulina worked against the military, and Paulina was captured and viciously tortured. Now the nation has begun to return to normalcy, and Gerardo has been appointed to a commission that will investigate military abuses. Paulina, however, suffers from horrific post-traumatic stress disorder, and is not sure she can face the public life that Gerardo’s appointment will force upon her.
By chance, Gerardo meets Dr. Miranda, who is impressed with Gerardo’s appointment. Gerardo, who believes Paulina to be asleep, invites Dr. Miranda to spend the night and places him in the guest room. But Paulina is awake, and when the light go out she attacks Dr. Miranda and ties him to a chair, where Gerardo is shocked to find him in the morning. The doctor, she declares, is the man who oversaw her torture: although she never saw him, she has recognized him by his voice. She demands Gerardo help her interrogate Dr. Miranda, and swears that when the truth is known she will let Dr. Miranda go. But will she?
DEATH AND THE MAIDEN skillfully balances out characters and plot. Is Paulina insane? Is Dr. Miranda innocent? Or is she correct, and Dr. Miranda a monster that she now has in her grasp? Will she let him go if he confesses? Will she kill him if he does not?
As the drama plays out, Dorfman repeatedly strikes ambivalent notes. It is impossible to know in any factual sense what the truth is, and as backgrounds are exposed even Gerardo is revealed as less than entirely truthful. The play offers no easy answers and it ends on a strange and somewhat sour note without offering any resolution. This is a strong play, indeed. Recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer