SAPOGONIA: An Anti-Romance in 3/8 Meters

Notoable New York Times Notable Book Selection


Ana Castillo’s Sapagonia… a daring novel in that AC chooses to tell her story at least in part through an unsympathetic machistic male protagonist, including his many exploitative encounters with women–until he meets more than his match—AC’s irresistible femme fatal, Pastora. Reflecting on the Central American revolutions and the Midwest solidarity they inspired, the novel is also the only fictional portrayal we have to date of the Chicago Latino artistic explosion of the 1970s, including the imagined election of the city’s first latino mayor.– Marc Zimmerman

2 versions: Bilingual Press (unedited). Anchor Books (revised). New York Times Notable Book of the Year.


“…most casual readers are likely unaware of the content and context of the substantial changes made to Castillo’s novel between its two publication dates.literary critics who tackle this novel are unaware of those changes or do not mention them at all…
…Scholars of border literature, particularly those who emphasize the narrative role of oral, alternative, counter, and competing histories in border texts, could benefit from attention to the material instability of the texts they study. Literature of the border often advocates sustained attention to the instability of identity and history, asserting mestiza/o identity as a valorization of the spaces between traditionally conceived binaries implied by nation, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. By expanding the field of inquiring to in include the material borders of and between texts, we can begin…”


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