"This novel includes all the consciousness I've developed as a writer over the past 30 years. Although it is pro-woman, it is not anti-male. It makes one think and to look past appearances."
--John Rechy, Los Angeles Times September 15, 1996
Our Lady of Babylon by John Rechy
Our Lady of Babylon


   From the dawn of history, the venomous label has been spat at many women. Eve, Helen of Troy, Salome, Mary Magdalene, Medea, DuBarry, the mysterious woman of Babylon--all fallen women, all guilty. Or were they?

   In the late eighteenth century, a Lady flees to her dead husbands château, accused of his murder. There she is haunted by highly charged dreams about infamous women and their lovers, including Adam, Paris, John the Baptist, Jason, and Cortés. Within her dreams, the Lady discovers that these women--all, like herself, involved in catastrophic events--have been misunderstood and greatly maligned.

   A chance encounter with the fabulous Madame Bernice, an unconventional mystic who lives in a neighboring château, convinces the lady that her "dreams" are in fact memories. The Lady's precise and vivid memories extend back even to the plains of Heaven during the war of angels led by Lucifer and his sister, Cassandra, who plot to thwart God's exile of Eve and Adam--and God is a main player here, boldly characterized.

   In Eden we witness Eve and Adam's fumbling, finally joyous lovemaking. In Herod's palace, we observe Salome's cunning dance of six--not seven--veils before a saintly yet sensual John the Baptist. In Greece, we learn Paris's secret, the real reason for the Trojan War. On the Isle of Patmos, we discover how the exiled John the Divine converted a naive street girl into the "Whore of Babylon."

   In exotic jungles, we encounter Cortés; his Aztec wife--branded La Malinche--and her young Indian lover. We meet the Xtabay, so enticing that men lust even after her ghost. Soon, we sweep into the maze of desire between Jason and Medea, the truth of the final slaughter.

   The Lady's memories as Magdalene follow Jesus and Judas from their first meeting as playful young men on the banks of the river Jordan--moments that linked them intimately forever--to the top of Calvary.

buy3_silver.gif (3138 bytes)   As the Lady and Madame prepare to announce the truth of the Lady's past lives, grave dangers threaten to ambush their disclosures. An erotic novel, entitled The True Account, a work full of accusations and dire warnings, charges the Lady with graphic debaucheries. It also contains buried clues that may identify the Lady's pursuers, figures who exist within the corridors of greatest power. Just who are these figures? Are the murderers of the Lady's husband--and the intended subverters of her greatest truths--among the mightiest of all hierarchies? As the Lady and Madame Bernice ponder these questions, they prepare themselves to face the public and vindicate all the fallen women through the corrected versions of their lives.

   Rich, provocative, daring, at times darkly ironic,
written in a variety of prose styles, Our Lady of Babylon is a thoroughly original novel, an epic of ancient treachery, of myth and history reexamined.

Our Lady of Babylon by John Rechy



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