Books: Sugar and Spice

DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS by Jorge Amado. 553 pages. Knopf. $6.95.

I never needed ginger and almonds. It was the hand, the tongue, the word, his profile, his charm, it was he who stripped me of the sheet and my modesty for the wild astronomy of his kisses.

Food and sex. Sex and food. Chicken in coconut milk—vatapá—then a white night under the stars. These constitute life in the Brazilian state of Bahia, according to its most celebrated writer, Jorge Amado. They are also the fixed points in the remarkable history of his latest heroine, Dona Flor.

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