This is the first English translation of Reyna Carranza's historical novel of dynastic decline in twentieth-century Argentina. "Of Love and Madness" is a tale of sin and retribution set in and around Cordoba, Argentina. The main action occurs in the mid-1960s, a period when provincial Argentina is finally turning away from its insular, agrarian past and embracing the modern world. The protagonist is a child of the new era who is impelled by an uncertain mix of personal and supernatural forces to sacrifice herself for the demise of the old.Among stories of dynastic decline, "Of Love and Madness" is distinguished by its focus upon the historically encumbered female and its unusual perspective on the struggle of Latin American cultures to escape their past. Woman is cast as a destroyer as well as creator, charged with burying the old world before building a new one in which she can have an appropriate place. This process of subversion and atonement is personal and to a large extent internal, and its cost is a risk of isolation even within the traditionally permitted female sphere.
Woman's ability to survive and prevail hinges in part on a willingness to accommodate natural and spiritual imperatives rather than opposing them.