Yolanda Oreamuno


Yolanda Oreamuno’s work is collected in A lo largo del corto camino and La ruta de su evasión.  Her story “El espíritu de mi terra,” which appears in Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion as “The Spirit of My Land,” was originally published in the influential literary journal Repertorio americano, in which Oreamuno began publishing work as a student.

Oreamuno has two stories published in Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion.  The first, “The Lizard with the White Belly,” tells the story of a woman in need who goes to visit a hermit in a cave.  The hermit stretches out his hand:

A sorcerer’s hand, skinny and pale, with long nails like rivers on a brown land, with sinews straight like long seams, to give her the first thing he saw.  At first his very blue, very knowing eyes transported him to heaven, then he lowered them, gliding over the walls, over all the earth, over the moss, over the dry leaves, and there–a lizard.

This lizard, and what the woman does with it, changes her life.

Oreamuno’s second story in the collection, “The Spirit of My Land,” is filled with beautiful nature imagery, from the wind, a “thread traversing the earth,” to the sun, “fondly caressing the shape of things, to the trees, “moored eternally by their umbilical cord to the land’s womb.”  The story ends with a long passage about the “thousands of voices” of the cicadas, with their “cutting screech, unpleasant, but musical.”  The passage is so descriptive that the reader is left with the sound of the cicadas buzzing in her ears.

Photo Credit: Piccolo Namek / CC BY-SA 3.0
Source: Ras, Barbara, ed. Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion. San Francisco: Whereabouts, 1994.

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