12.29.2006

HH Com 582

My novel, “Expatriate of the World” is a historic drama set against the backdrop of 18th century Mexico (New Spain at the time), when knowledge and learning were under the yoke of State and Church.

Lucia Melendez is the first of her family born in the new world. Trained in herb and nature lore by her late mother’s Haitian slaves and schooled by her priest brother, she retains her lust for freedom and knowledge when her family sends her to a convent. When despite her seclusion she gets pregnant, her child is taken away at birth and it is said that Lucia herself dies shortly after. Years later, when Lucia’s greedy young nephew looks for the child to get rid of it as a competing heir, he finds Lucia instead – not dead, but hiding. Fascinated by his aunt’s knowledge and her collection of censored books, Alvaro abandons his search and becomes Lucia’s apprentice. Things get complicated when Alvaro befriends his neighbour’s
precocious daughter, Alicia, who is just as hungry for knowledge as he and Lucia – and, like them, she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. As Alvaro and Alicia’s relationship changes from intellectual to physical, they must hide their books, their knowledge
and their affair from the Inquisition, or there will literally be hell to pay.

When you say 18th century, you mean the 1700's and in the 1700's Haiti was French, not Spanish, so how did "her mother's Haitian slaves" get to a family in Mexico? My Mexican history is limited but I'm pretty sure the French weren't there until AFTER 1804 when the Haitian Revolution ended slavery there.

And the Inquisition in Mexico is 1571, and it was directed primarily at Protestants, Native American "heretics", and occasional relapsed Jews of converso background NOT the sister or nephew of a priest.

You've got too many people, and a weird ass chronology so this stays in the slush.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was afraid you might say something about 'too many people involved'. But for what it's worth the piece IS well researched (YEARS of research, at that):

* The Spanish bequeated the Western half of Hispaniola (now Haiti and Saint-Domingue) There were Spanish families still living in Western Hispaniola till at least 1697.

*The Inquisition in Mexico STARTED in 1521 and went on strong till 1817. And while they mostly persecuted jewish and protestant people, "posssession of forbidden texts' was also a common charge with them.

Your comment was still helpful -- kind of opened my eyes as to what kind of 'extra' obstacles pitching this type of fiction may carry. So thanks anyway!

Anonymous said...

(MY COMPUTER ATE PART OF MY OTHER POST, SO HERE GOES AGAIN)

I was afraid you might say something about 'too many people involved'. But for what it's worth the piece IS well researched (YEARS of research, at that):

* The Spanish bequeated the Western half of Hispaniola (now Haiti and Saint-Domingue) to the French in the late 17th century. There were Spanish families still living in Western Hispaniola till at least 1697.

*The Inquisition in Mexico STARTED in 1521 and went on strong till 1817. And while they mostly persecuted jewish and protestant people, "posssession of forbidden texts' was also a common charge with them.

Your comment was still helpful -- kind of opened my eyes as to what kind of 'extra' obstacles pitching this type of fiction may carry. So thanks anyway!

Anonymous said...

“Expatriate of the World”?

Do you mean expatriot of the world? Because expatriate is the act of becoming an expatriot; a verb, not a noun or adjective.

Beth said...

Actually, expatriate is also a noun. I can attest to that, having been one. (An expatriate, not a noun). Reference this site:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/expatriate

Anonymous said...

Question: did the word 'expatriate,' in whichever form you please, even exist that long ago? Its use instantly makes me think of Hemingway and Stein, not of the 16-17th centuries.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous2, "expatriot" is not a word, at least not in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. And expatriate is a noun (and verb, and adjective). The derivation is from Middle Latin: "Etymology: Medieval Latin expatriatus", but that's all I can find out without getting off my lazy butt and going to the OED.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. 'Expatriot' is NOT a word. Unless you mean 'ex-patriot', meaning she or he who used to be patriotic (a patriot) and now isn't anymore. Expatriate is an expatriated person -- i.e. someone who doesn't have a country they belong to.