Santa Evita
Tomás Eloy Martinez

Basically my life this year is all about waiting for "Evita" to hit the movie theaters. I CAN'T STAND IT. Who can forget that tragic scene in "Truth or Dare" when Madonna went to meet Antonio Banderas and she was all nervous and girly and then she found out he was married? I can't understand how he would dump his wife for Melanie Griffith and not Madonna! But now Madonna gets to be in a movie with him and I bet Melanie is stressing! Evita is the perfect role for Madonna because (like the character Madonna played in "Dangerous Game," her up-to-now best acting performance) she's a chick whom the masses adore but the critics keep calling a slut. And no one thought Evita was a good actress either! How many days until Christmas?

Anyway, this book Santa Evita is a "true novel" about the embalmed body of Eva Perón and the various Argentine spies, political factions, and others who become obsessed with her. Wavering between documentary first person narration (complete with sources and footnotes) and magic realism, Santa Evita is a story about the inevitable necrophilia of history and the fetishization of decay inherent in nostalgia. In death, Eva Perón became even more famous and important than she was in life (twenty years later, her exhumation was part of the negotiations that brought Juan Perón back from exile), but in becoming a symbol, the novel points out, identity is more a matter of projection than essence. Like Marina Warner's Alone of All her Sex, the groundbreaking historiography of the Virgin Mary, Santa Evita in the end tells us more about the nature of obsession than about the woman we are all so obsessed with.

Did you guys seen Madonna on the cover of Vogue?

—Mikki Halpin