LOVE QUEEN OF THE AMAZON
Available from Wings Press, San Antonio. ISBN 0-930324-69-2.
THE LOVE QUEEN OF THE AMAZON, Little Brown & Co., Boston, 1992-1993
255 pages, (out of print)
London, Hamish Hamilton, 1992
Munich, Bertelsmann, 1993-1994
Amsterdam, Uitgeverij-Arena, 1994
Penguin, UK, 1992
"Ana Magdalena Figueroa is one of the few great Latin heroines not created by the male imagination. Cecile Pineda has enhanced the roster of modern literature's most remarkable female characters with her brilliantly drawn portrait."
Richard Martins, The Chicago Tribune, March 8, 1992
From The Love Queen of the Amazon:
"Many years later Ana Magdalena could remember only the hold of that ship where destiny had led her. She could still picture the hull made of carefully fitted, tarred planks of wood. But there her memory stopped altogether, because all she could imagine was that the floor of the hold had been covered with flowers, a solid bed of them, and that she must have rolled on petals fragile as the wings of night moths, and that their bodies, hers and Sergio's, had been coated with the powdery, moon-colored dust of the wings of cecropias, and that the linens were of the massed and funereal petals of faded chrysanthemums; and that when he pressed his mouth to hers, she felt the ephemeral beating of a humming bird's wings, and that when he entered her at last, her body raised its bone spoon to another of his lips and that she became the exquisite tube of the moist, night-blooming cereus, and that she held him in the sticky sap of her embrace like the wriggling and pathetic tarantula that squirms helplessly before dawn when the enzymes began their slow process of liquefaction and returned their bodies to their ancient roots at the fountains of the oceans, in the blankets of the fog. All this she imagined in the twinkling of an eye, or perhaps an eon. And of the myriad moments of her life that she reviewed throughout her time thereafter, and even at the moment of her death, it was always this one that stood out from all the others as the most satisfying.
But for Sergio Ballado, satisfaction was quite another matter. He had plans. He was going to be rich. "Listen, woman," he said to her, "there's no room for us in this pissant town. Why don't we both get married. . . ? Tomorrow I'm leaving for Bélem. I'm going to work the excursion boats for the rich yanquis who go upriver to shoot game. And when I get back, I want you to be waiting because I'm going to come back rich!"