(University of South Carolina Aiken, USA)





Photos of 'Emilia'

ISBN: 978-1-937030-64-3


The Caste War of Yucatán which began in 1850 provides a realistic setting for this historical biography, written in the form of a novel, which describes the actual economic, social and cultural effects of this war on the North of the country of Belize.  The effects of this war are seen through the life of Emilia, who is a direct descendant of the refugees of this Caste War and who is the staunch matriarch of the Durán family in the Village of Progreso in the North of this beautiful but attractively primitive country.  Emilia’s life is poignantly detailed and her struggles, emotional, social and economic, are clearly and heartrendingly depicted and as well, are representative of the universality of feminist struggles and sacrifices, particularly in so-called third world and underdeveloped countries. Emilia is a realistic, flesh and blood figure who died in 2015 and who was well-known in the Village of Progreso, not only because of her generosity and strength of character but also because, as a single parent of eight children, she sacrificed herself to formally educate her children who are now professors, teachers and executives in private corporations.

This book also provides realistic descriptions of and information about Mayan culture through vivid descriptions of the traditions and practices of the Mayas, especially of those living in the North of the country of Belize.  As seen through the life of Emilia, the rites of Mayan courtships and marriages, family traditions and Mayan beliefs are showcased, accurately, in this novel.   This novel enhances the canon of Latin American Literature and places the Literature of Belize in a position of prominence in the sphere of world literature.



Víctor Manuel Durán is a native of the country of Belize where he grew up in the village of Progreso in the North of the country.   After attending High School, Junior College and Teacher's College in Belize, he traveled first to Montreal, Canada where he received his B. Ed. Degree from McGill University and then to the United States of America where he received his M.A. and Ph.D.  Degrees in Romance Languages from the University of Misssouri, Columbia.  Dr. Durán has taught the gamut of Spanish courses, from Basic Spanish courses to courses in Latin American Literature and Culture at various universities in the USA.  In addition, he has developed and taught  upper-level courses in Latin American Literature and Culture and Spanish for the Professions.

Víctor Manuel Durán has published three books on Latin American Literature, the latest being a comprehensive anthology of the Literature of Belize.  In addition, he has published many academic articles in prestigious journals in the USA and internationally, in Spanish and in English, on the Literature and Culture of both Latin America and Peninsular Spain.  He recently retired as Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of South Carolina Aiken.


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