Jose Builds a Woman

Front Cover
Ooligan Press, 2006 - Fiction - 308 pages
2 Reviews
Mesmerizing! Stunning! Elegant! Captivating! Powerful! Lush! A winner! Magical realism that seduces the reader from beginning to end!

When Ooligan's acquisitions committee discussed this marvelous first novel by Portland photographer/painter/dramatist Baross, the superlatives and exclamations wouldn't stop. Word spread, and soon Ooligan's other student publishers were waiting in line to read this novel set in a fictional Mexican coastal village. "Jose" is the story of Tortugina, the narrator, whose happiness and hardship are tied to the sea and to the men in her life, from her demanding father and dead lover to her cruel, abusive husband and beautiful, sensitive son.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This quirky novel of magical realism is well-written, rich in detail and full of dry humor. The settings, Mexican villages by the ocean, are vividly described and come to life, as do the characters. However, I thought it dealt too lightly with deeply disturbing things, which is especially odd given that it’s from a first person point of view. This probably wasn’t intentional, but the author seems nonchalant about domestic violence and rape. In other words, I wanted the book to be more psychological. I also wanted Tortugina’s abusive brute of a husband to die a horrible and painful death. 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

An excellent addition to the magical realism canon of the Americas. Always with an inflection toward imagination, the book is firmly rooted in the reality of love, loss, friendship, society, pettiness, and subtle strength. As in all good books of this category, the magic works not as a distraction or fantasy but as a heightening of the emotions endured by the wonderful, colorful characters, who are complex, contradictory, and sensual. So often magical realism is a sign pegged to the board of male authors, but Jose Builds a Woman weaves its struggles around central female figures, and with the unflinching beauty and precision of its warm and empathetic author.
John Sibley Williams
http://jswilliamspoetry.blogspot.com
 

Contents

I
3
II
5
III
9
IV
13
V
21
VI
27
VII
37
VIII
47
XIX
149
XX
155
XXI
165
XXII
175
XXIII
185
XXIV
195
XXV
203
XXVI
211

IX
53
X
61
XI
71
XII
79
XIII
87
XIV
99
XV
105
XVI
113
XVII
127
XVIII
137
XXVII
217
XXVIII
221
XXIX
227
XXX
243
XXXI
263
XXXII
273
XXXIII
283
XXXIV
291
XXXV
299
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

For nearly 30 years, Jan Baross has been a prominent force in Portland's artisistic and theater communities. She is a successful playwright, filmmaker, painter, and photographer.

Bibliographic information