Devil's Tango: How I Learned the Fukushima Step by Step
Cecile Pineda. San Antonio, TX: Wings Press, 2012. 223pp. $16.95 ISBN 9780916727994
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
by: Christina M. Martinez

Section: Adult Book Reviews

July 2012

Reviewed by Christina M. Martinez, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO

Pineda is best known for her fiction (The Love Queen of the Amazon, Face, Frieze), but this book is a departure from fiction. It is somewhat difficult to categorize in any particular genre. The topic is the disaster that took place at Japan’s Fukushima power plants in March 2011 as a result of the earthquake and tsunami. However, this is not a typical examination of the events. It is an intensely personal reflection on the disaster, a call to action, and a lamentation.  
She paints a very stark picture of the effects of the disaster on the planet. Pineda is poetic at times, factual at other times and always passionate about the issues. The 130 short chapters, most of them 2-3 pages, mostly focus on a variety of aspects of the nuclear energy business including what happened on specific days after the disaster; the history of the nuclear energy business, the  science related to nuclear energy, the politics of nuclear energy, and what we as citizens should be concerned about and doing. Mixed in with these chapters are other chapters where Pineda reflects on her own life. In addition the author provides appendices for nuclear information resources, blogs, activist organizations, and a bibliography.

Overall this is an intriguing presentation of the topic, but it would not work for anyone wanting a straightforward treatment.  Pineda lives in the San Francisco area.

Recommended for libraries with a demand for environmental literature

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