In the five novellas that comprise The Orange Tree, Carlos Fuentes continues the passionate and imaginative reconstruction of past and present history that has distinguished Terra Nostra and The Campaign. From the story of Columbus's arrival in the Caribbean, to the fate of Hernan Cortes's two sons, to the destruction of the Spanish city of Numantia by the Romans and the annihilation of Hollywood by Acapulco, Fuentues couples the epic grandeur of the spiritual and the historical with the many pleasures of the flesh. In The Orange Tree, he remarks, "I gather together not only all my most immediate sensual pleasures - I see, touch, peel, bite, swallow - but also the most primordial sensations: my mother, wet nurses, breasts, the sphere, the world, the egg." The result is a sensitive exploration of cultural conflict that is also a feast for the senses.
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