Third Place - Veronica Gonzalez
The Sad Passions
Sad Passions juxtaposes a compelling interplay between three
generations of women, the grandmotherís roots in Mexico and the
granddaughtersí lives in Los Angeles.
The central theme explores a womanís freedom.
It was the Mexican grandmother who made a dash for freedom
from a restrictive marriage.
What of this inheritance will be passed on to the
a Chicana in search of self and freedom, lives in two cultures.
It is precisely this ability to move between worlds that
makes Carmela an interesting character.
In many ways she symbolizes contemporary Chicanas.
The cultures she moves in are more complex than just
Mexican and/or American.
She struggles to write a movie in a world where few of her
kind are accepted.
Carmela is haunted by stories of the past, stories from Mexico.
To be complete she needs to know the live of her parents
It is in the lives of the women of her family that she will
find a sense of self.
The memory of Mexico lingers throughout the novel.
It is that memory, a living force in the novel, that
finally draws Carmela back to Mexico.
relationship in The Sad Passions are rich and complex,
Mothers and daughters experience the sad passions of life.
They experience sexuality and how each person comes to
terms with that driving force.
Carmelaís story becomes a contemporary Book of Passions.
It is the passions of the characters that lifts the novel above the mundane search for self into an exploration of the deep seat of feelings within self.î
- Rudolfo Anaya (25th Anniversary Prize Judge).