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Martin Rivas (Paperback)
Mart n Rivas (1862) is a novel by Alberto Blest Gana. Regarded as the first Chilean novel, Mart n Rivas is a powerful story of romance, class, and national unity from an author who served for decades as a diplomat and ambassador for Chile. Inspired by the social realism of Honor de Balzac, Blest Gana retains his European roots while remaining true to the emerging culture of his country. Mart n Rivas has always feared the walls closing in. Born and raised in a poor mining community, he sees the limits placed on the lives of his friends and family. Generational poverty, instability, and bad health plague the workers of northern Chile, and he dreams of something more for his life. With his father's approval, Rivas travels to Santiago to take a job as a servant. Working in the home of a wealthy aristocrat, he does his best to acclimate himself to the manners and desires of the rich, but ultimately loses focus to his employer's beautiful daughter. Madly in love, he feels the walls inch closer once again. How will he reconcile his emotions with society's disapproval of relationships between members of opposing classes? How will he convince a man who controls his livelihood to allow him to court his own daughter? As he agonizes over his newly complicated reality, Rivas recalls how much he has overcome and wonders if it was worth the endless struggle. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Alberto Blest Gana's Mart n Rivas is a classic of Chilean literature reimagined for modern readers.