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And Our Critics Commend

July 20, 1986

A State of Independence, Caryl Phillips (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Bertram Francis returns to an island in the Caribbean he left 20 years earlier for a scholarship in England--not as the successful lawyer that he hoped to become, but with a little money and vague hopes of finding a place. In this acrid and touching novel, "the message is both: 'You can't go home again' and 'You have nowhere else to go.' " (Richard Eder).

I the Supreme, Augusto Roa Bastos (Knopf). "A text of a verbal density that recalls the later James Joyce, a web of intertextual reference never seen in modern Spanish outside of Borges, (Augusto) Roa Bastos' novel . . . shows the mystical heroism and stoic strength of a people ravaged by oppression, war and disease" (Daniel Balderston).

Yordim: Leaving the Promised Land for the Land of Promise, Micha Lev (Woodbine House). "A compelling novel about the yearnings and disappointments of Israelis living in America. . . . As we follow Nissim and Yossi through their private labyrinth of desire and guilt, freedom and constraint, we have a new opportunity to examine America at its best and worst" (Ruth Ariella Broyde).

Torquemada, Benito Perez Galdos (Columbia University). The author "stands as an important fraternal novelist in relation to Dickens and Balzac, working as they did to give as complete a picture as possible of contemporary European urban life" (Alan Cheuse).

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