This vivid exposé of corruption and political tyranny in the Dominican Republic rang so true to the reality that the President of that country went on television to denounce the book. They Forged the Signature of God went on to become the best-selling book in the history of the Dominican Republic.
Sención's novel follows the lives of three seminary students who suffer from church-state oppression. The book also gives a chilling portrait of Dr. Ramos, a sinister autocrat, who manages to survive six terms as president of his country through manipulation and tyranny. This finely textured novel gives a vivid picture of the internal politics of the Dominican Republic.
Viriato Sención was born in San Jose de Ocoa, Dominican Republic in 1941. They Forged the Signature of God is his best known work. He lived in New York City until his death in 2012.
Asa Zatz was born in Mexico and has translated nearly one hundred books. He lives in New York.
"Viriato Sención's They Forged the Signature of God is, simply put, the most important novel to come out of the Dominican Republic in decades. A fabulous sancocho (stew) of realism and allegory, gallows humor and terror, sexuality and religious fanaticism, this thinly disguised historical novel ranks alongside García Márquez's The Autumn of the Patriarch as a portrait of political power gone awry." —David Unger, CCNY
"Its moving account of the experiences of three young seminarians whose lives are circumscribed by a volatile and dangerous church and country exfoliates skillfully to reveal a wide social panorama composed of sharply drawn individuals, and also makes ingenious (and often hilarious) connections between sexual potency and the urge toward freedom. It's a very accomplished novel." —Kirkus Review
"...deserves multiple readings, and with its absorbing political perversions, saga-like sprawl, and supreme regard for each literary work as an examination of art itself, it should gain canonical status." —B.L. Lewis, Choice
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