Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Villanueva's first novel portrays the difficulties of self-affirmation and the struggle to understand and come to terms with a multi-faceted identity despite the single-minded conventions of society. Rosa, an artist of Mexican and German heritage, struggles to create herself and find a home where all her fragmented selves can rest. Through dreams, her relationship with her husband Julio, and her struggle to paint an obscure ultraviolet sky, she begins to explore her identities and to trust where they will lead her. She chooses to follow her "wolf' who whines and claws at her consciousness and only awakens fully in her dreams. Yet to follow, she must leave everything known and go toward the frightening vastness of her unknown. Rosa moves to a cabin in a remote part of Northern California, leaving Julio and her seventeen year old son behind. The separation is painful, not only because of her unexpected pregnancy but because she is strongly tied to Julio even though he is often controlling and jealous. He is her nemesis and like her, has the blood of the Yaqui Indians, "Latino men -- what she'd tried to avoid, until Julio. Both of them brought up by their grandmothers, both of them Mexican -- her twin, her nemesis. Both of their families are from Sonora -- both of them Yaqui Indian." As she begins to uncover and accept her many identities, Rosa wonders what her ties to her blood are.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1991