Diamela Eltit: Vaca sagrada (Sacred Cow)

The latest addition to my website is Diamela Eltit‘s Vaca sagrada (Sacred Cow). This is a feminist, post-modern novel by a Chilean writer who stayed in Chile during the Pinochet regime. She tells the story of a woman who has two messy, violent relationships, with violence on both sides, showing indirectly, in the relationships, the violence that is going on in Chile under Pinochet. The unnamed and unreliable narrator, who may be also the same person as Francisca, a woman we first meet when bloody and bruised, struggles with life, with alcohol, with men, with getting a job and with sex. She feels totally insecure, unsure, ready to tell lies for no reason, and ready to get involved in messy relationships but finding them no escape. It is not an easy read but Eltit is clearly intent on showing women’s bodies as the battleground in what is going on in Chile and that is what she does.

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