Synopses & Reviews
Set in a Greek village in 1942, and purportedly written from his imagination by a Danish man before he was picked up by the Gestapo and not seen again, here is Ariel Dorfman's haunting and universal parable of individual courage in the face of political oppression. Widows
forms a testament to the disappeared those living under totalitarian regimes the world over, who are taken away for "questioning" and never return.
One by one, the bodies of men wash up on the shore of the river, where they are claimed by the women of the local town as husbands and fathers, even though the faces of the dead men are unrecognizable. A tug-of-war ensues between the local police, who insist that the women couldn't possibly recognize their loved ones, and the women demanding the right to bury their beloveds. As it evolves, the stand-off reveals itself to be a power struggle between love, dignity and honor, and the lesser god of brute force. A lesson in how power really works, and how it can be made to work differently.
"The plot resounds with the moral thunder of classic....The reader, deeply touched, moves as if in a dream of outrage among its tombs of love." The New York Times Book Review
"Lyrical and even elegiac
Dorfman gives flesh to a human rights issue of our time." Chicago Tribune
"[A] brilliant, indispensible fable and an exquisite novel of truly unforgettable characters in a dreadful but, alas, all too familiar situation." Tony Kushner
First published in 1983, Widows is one of Dorfman's most popular and lasting books, a classic in the literature of social protest.
In this moving novel set in a Greek village in 1942, the corpses of disappeared men wash ashore. The village women claim the bodies as husbands and fathers, even though their faces are unrecognizable. A tug of war ensues between the local police, who insist the women cannot identify their loved ones, and the women, who demand the right to bury their dead. Their standoff becomes a struggle for dignity and honor against the forces of fascism. First published in 1983 and anticipating some of the themes of his award-winning play Death and the Maiden, Widows is Ariel Dorfmans eloquent tribute to those who have perished under totalitarian regimes. This is a classic parable of individual courage in the face of oppression from a literary grandmaster (Time). Lyrical and even elegiac ... Dorfman gives flesh to a human rights issue of our time. Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Born in Buenos Aires in 1942, Ariel Dorfman is a Chilean citizen. A supporter of Salvador Allende, he was forced into exile and has lived in the United States for many years. He is distinguished professor at Duke University and lives in Durham, North Carolina.