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In The Wink of an Eye
by Kelly Cherry
ISBN: 978-1-886420-36-6

In the Wink of an Eye is a modern fable in the form of a novel.
Or a romantic satire.
Or a social burlesque.
Or an ironic fantasy.
Or all of the above. Whatever the label, it's a joy to read.

This tale is about a revolution--a small, upstart, none-too-promising revolution--that succeeds too well. A band of inept guerrillas in the Bolivain backcountry has modest ambitions to take over the jungle-ridden province of Santa Cruz, a place no one else wants. Before the story is half over a shady German industrialist, with an obsession for big deals and big women, devises a scheme to expand the revolt into a takeover of all of South America. The President of the United States, for his own veiled purposes, embraces that takeover for a vast Western Hemisphere plan. And through the independent actions of a few irate citizens in Tulsa, New York, and London, the plan unexpectedly snowballs into a wildcat world movement.

The second half is more explosive still.

To match the swift, tumultuous action, there's a cast of engaging, outrageously human characters. Just a hint: In Bolivia, at the start there is

  • Miguel, young rugged guerrilla leader; ambitious entrepreneur with a frequent glance toward a personal place in history.
  • Rosita, lively, lovely, sensual, practical young woman, living with Miguel; as great with a rifle as she is in bed, but would rather be a wife and mother.
  • Ramon, shy nonviolent, U.S.-educated son of wealthy Bolivian family; Miguel's closest friend and advisor; wouldn't know how to use a rifle; is hopelessly in love with Rosita. (Who wouldn't be--except for a dope like Miguel?)

And the cast captivatingly enlarges in New York, London, Tulsa, Washington, Rome, Cape Canaveral, and the environs of the Amazon.

More than a madcap adventure?

The author states her thesis: "It is meant to be comic in the foreground and deadly earnest in the background, and the reason for this particular arrangment of light and shade is to shed full radiance on the novel's quite precise point: Whatever may be the rights of men, it is the Inalienable Right of the Imagination to Rejoice in Itself. A playful imagination is the most powerful weapon we possess in our arsenal when it comes to the fight for freedom. This is fighting the good fight. I hope it's also a good laugh."

A modest proposal, swiftly stated.

In the Wink of an Eye is written with wit, sophistication, pace, and flair. It is genuinely funny and thoroughly irreverent. If you've been known to laugh and like it, this book is for you.

Cover art by Joel Barr

About the Author

Kelly Cherry is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist. Her novels include My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers, Augusta Played and Sick and Full of Burning which was both her first novel and her first book and is also offered by Boson Books. Her books of poetry include God's Loud Hand and Natural Theology. Her nonfiction books are The Exiled Heart: A Meditative Autobiography and Writing the World. Cherry's short fiction has been represented in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and The Pushcart Prize. For her poetry she has received the Hanes Prize.