So Far From God Critical Context
by Ana Castillo

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Critical Context

(Masterpieces of American Fiction)

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So Far from God is Ana Castillo’s third novel. The book’s favorable reception by critics and public alike secured her place among the writers at the forefront of the wave of Chicana fiction that came to mainstream consciousness in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. The novel’s publication marked the author’s move from small presses to larger publishing houses.

In the novel, Castillo successfully continues the experimentation with literary techniques that characterized her previous novels, The Mixquiahuala Letters (1986), which received the American Book Award in 1987, and Sapogonia (1990). In So Far from God, Castillo uses a distinctive participating narrator, flashbacks, introspective asides, and digressions from the central narrative to create a rich, complex, mythic tale.

Internationally recognized as a poet, novelist, essayist, and translator, Castillo started as a “protest poet” and continues to explore the issues—racism, sexism, oppression, inequality—to which she first gave voice in her poems. In So Far from God, she also continues to explore the feminist themes that have been recognized as central not only to her other two novels but to her poetry and nonfiction as well.