Pedro Martínez. La Gringa. ISBN: 978-0-915745-94-4. $24.95.

Joe García, a Marine Colonel and childhood friend devoted to the President, Jade Stewart, La Gringa, is also told from multiple points of view that push at the edges of literary tradition. The deciphering of the Da Vinci Code discovered Jade Stewart as the descendent of the Davidic Dynasty. Her existence threatens the legitimacy of Christian orthodoxy, and she is anathema to the Christian fundamentalists. Beautiful, brilliant and single, she is a controversial and charismatic President at a time of great change in America, including a schism between the American Catholic Church and the Vatican, the admission of English speaking Canada into the United States, and the political emergence of the Mexican-American community. Her election to the Presidency in 2008 is carried on the brown backs of Chicanos in Texas and California. By the age of fifteen Jade Stewart was uncontrollable, and her wealthy, widowed father, David Stewart, takes her from the family estate in New York to his ranch in South Texas. In Laredo Jade Stewart becomes involved with Beto Guerra, a Chicano mix of Elvis and James Dean. At the age of seventeen, Jade Stewart has a child out of wedlock by Beto Guerra who had enlisted in the Marines and not returned from the wars of the Middle East. The day after the child’s birth, David Stewart tells Jade that her baby boy had died. After her election eighteen years later, President Stewart’s enemies, the terrorist Christian Militias, steal the records of her child’s birth and presumed death. Threatening to charge that the President had had an abortion, they attempt to blackmail her. The President sends Joe García to Laredo to recover the evidence that her child had died the day after birth. Embedded with compelling characters from across the spectrum of the American narrative, La Gringa is an imaginative and disturbing vision of what the future may bring.

Sprung tightly by metaphor at the beginning, the plot springs to a violent conclusion, as Joe Garcia follows a trail that skirts taboo, tests his loyalty to the Anglo America of Jade Stewart, and careens towards Monarchy.

Mr. Martínez was born in Laredo, Texas on January 8, 1944 and graduated from the University of North Texas in 1965. He served in the United States Navy from 1967 to 1970. Mr. Martínez entered the Foreign Service in 1971. During his career Mr. Martínez served in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, including at the U.S. Mission to NATO. At the Department of State, Mr. Martinez served as deputy director of Theater Military Policy, as the Director of Press Relations, and as Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Mr. Martínez was awarded superior honor awards for his role in the negotiations that led to Spain’s accession to NATO, and to the Jordan-Israeli Treaty of Peace. Mr. Martínez graduated from the National War College in 1987, and he was promoted into the Senior Foreign Service in 1989 with the rank of Counselor. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife JoAnne Arzt, and their two sons, Peter and Michael. ...

 

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