La Loca De Gandoca / The Madwoman of Gandoca

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La Loca de Gandoca caused a national outcry in Costa Rica when it was published in 1992. It blew the whistle on a secret plot by government officials and private investors to develop the Gandoca-Manzanilla Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the most biologically diverse sites in the world and supposed to be protected by the Costa Rican constitution. The novel is the largely autobiographical account of Anacristina Rossi’s attempt to save the refuge from destruction. It is an inspirational story that shows what one brave, determined, self-reliant individual can do even against powerful vested interests. It is, at the same time, a fascinating exposé of the corrupt, labyrinthine and stonewalling government bureaucracy of Costa Rica, the popular American tourist destination, supposed by many to be a model of enlightened conservation and ecotourism. In addition, the novel is a probing ecofeminist critique of the Western paradigm of development, one which sensitively and poetically explores the relationship between humanity and nature.


“ ... It is a tribute to Dr. Terry Martin’s skills as a translator that he is able to capture and carry over the pointed and politically effective humor of Rossi’s Spanish into American English. [American author Carl] Hiaasen and Rossi are, in fact, kindred spirits in many ways because they address the same kinds of issues about runaway development, government corruption, and environmental scams in their fiction ... This translation is much needed because, in truth, far too little attention is given to the role of fiction in helping to shape public opinion about environmental issues and matters of environmental justice ...” – (from the Preface) Professor Patrick D. Murphy, University of Central Florida

“ ... Dr. Martin’s translation, as well as [Anacristina] Rossi’s novel, is a positive re-appropriation of postmodernism, no longer perceived as the demolition site of meganarratives, but as the foreshadowing of new, promising borders ... This translation captures the linguistic and idiosyncratic images of Rossi’s novel. [Dr. Martin’s] work, far from being a precise copy of the original, draws a vivid transnational location of cultural linguistics through a meticulous selection of word choices, creating images, sounds, feelings, and struggles. After this publication, the English-speaking world is able to travel to Gandoca’s world.” – Professor María G. Marín, Baldwin-Wallace College

“ ... Dr. Martin transports his readers to a foreign land and immerses us in the politics involved in trying to save the ecosystem. While we are aware of reading a novel that takes place in a different country, there is nothing in the diction or the grammatical structure that diverts one’s attention from the political and personal matters in the text ...” – Professor Margarita Vargas, State University of New York at Buffalo

Table of Contents

Preface by Patrick D. Murphy
The Madwoman of Gandoca

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