Vereda tropical. Homenaje a Enrico Mario Santí edited by Jorge Brioso and Sandra Rossi Brito, was published by the Editorial Casa Vacía, Richmond, VA (2021)

Combining interviews, critical essays, and creative writing, Vereda tropical honors the legacy of  Enrico Mario Santí, a leading critic of Latin American Literature and currently research professor in the English Department at Claremont Graduate University; emeritus professor and William T. Bryan Endowed Chair in Hispanic Studies at the University of Kentucky.  

Prof. Mendez's contribution to the volume is “La naturaleza y sus avatares: Pájaros de la playa (1993) de Severo Sarduy desde la ecocrítica,” an ecocritical reading of Sarduy’s posthumous novel set in a volcanic island evocative of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.  Sarduy, an exiled Cuban writer who lived in Paris, was associated with the Tel Quel group and rose to prominence as a member of the post-boom movement in Latin American literature with his highly experimental fiction, essays on baroque art and literature, and poetry.  His most intricate and also markedly autobiographical fiction, Pájaros de la playa aligns with many of the postulates of ecocritical theory, including ecofeminism, deep ecology, and the blurring of the nature/culture divide. The article is beautifully illustrated with images of flora and fauna, volcanic rock, and petroglyphs.  The title, Vereda tropical, is taken from the lyrics of a famous popular song by Carlos Santana. 

book cover