Arab Today, arab today the barbarian nurseries
Last Updated : GMT 05:49:56
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

The Barbarian Nurseries

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today The Barbarian Nurseries

New York - Arabstoday

There are two dramas going on in Hector Tobar’s novel “The Barbarian Nurseries.” One is about a Mexican maid in a gated Orange County community who finds herself alone at home with two apparently abandoned boys. The other one I’ll get to in a minute.The boys’ parents have a fight about money -- Scott isn’t making enough to support Maureen’s entitled extravagance -- that ends, dramatically, with a push, a loss of balance and a shattered coffee table.Maureen takes the baby and heads for -- where else? -- a spa, leaving in such a rush that she forgets her mobile phone. Scott, unaware of her flight, grabs enough clothes to last until she has cooled down and he can slink home.The maid, Araceli, lives in a guesthouse on their property, and by the fourth day of their disappearance, all she knows is that her bosses have left her with two bewildered boys. The groceries are dwindling and she doesn’t drive. Nobody on the emergency phone list answers.She finds an old address for the boys’ grandfather, in a Los Angeles neighborhood that (though she doesn’t know it) has become a slum. So she sets off with them on a trip to a world they didn’t know existed.The parents return, find the house empty, panic and call the cops. Cue the media. The last of the novel’s three sections is titled “Circus Californianus.”The drama of the plot makes “The Barbarian Nurseries” a real page-turner. But the deeper drama -- for me, anyway -- is the battle inside Hector Tobar, between a talented novelist and an editorial writer (he is, in fact, a regular columnist for the Los Angeles Times) in a state of high dudgeon. Even late in the book it’s hard to guess which of them is going to get the upper hand.Every time Tobar stopped to bring in yet another character for yet another sociological walking tour into the melting pot of Southern California, I ground my teeth. He doesn’t have a gift for sketching in minor characters with the complexity of his major ones.His attempt to summon some empathy for a Mexican- hating bigot is as futile as Amy Waldman’s similar attempt with a Muslim-hating bigot in her recent novel “The Submission.” And I don’t think any of Tobar’s readers need a demonstration that the criminal-justice system is nicer to the rich than it is to undocumented aliens.On the plus side, though -- and it’s a big plus -- is Tobar’s altogether strange and wonderful heroine. Araceli Noemi Ramirez Hinojosa has spent four years working, dourly but efficiently, for Scott and Maureen. They don’t much like her, and behind her back they call her Madame Weirdness.They have no idea she spent a year at the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. They first see “The Garbage Phoenix” -- a floating sculpture she painstakingly assembled from bits of their detritus -- only when they invade her guesthouse, looking for the boys.Araceli is proud, talented, bitter, bitterly funny, naive, imposing and severe. She’s unlike the hero of any novel I can remember reading, and she gives “The Barbarian Nurseries” an authority that none of its flaws can mar.  

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today the barbarian nurseries Arab Today, arab today the barbarian nurseries

 



Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today the barbarian nurseries Arab Today, arab today the barbarian nurseries

 



Arab Today, arab today France defies terrorism through tourism

GMT 15:18 2017 Saturday ,20 May

France defies terrorism through tourism
Arab Today, arab today Zainab Fadel Oglu designs “Shakerin” mosque

GMT 12:13 2017 Thursday ,11 May

Zainab Fadel Oglu designs “Shakerin” mosque
Arab Today, arab today Seeks to move past rift with Israel

GMT 08:00 2017 Monday ,08 May

Seeks to move past rift with Israel
View News in Arabic - Culture: بأقلامهم
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mozambique's gas boom dream under threat

GMT 16:29 2017 Monday ,08 May

Mozambique's gas boom dream under threat
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Jaguar displays XF Sportbrake line

GMT 14:36 2017 Monday ,08 May

Jaguar displays XF Sportbrake line
Arab Today, arab today BMW sees forecasts in reach

GMT 09:04 2017 Thursday ,04 May

BMW sees forecasts in reach
Arab Today, arab today Climate science: Bad news gets worse

GMT 08:48 2017 Saturday ,06 May

Climate science: Bad news gets worse
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday