Translated into English for the first time since 1904, this seminal Latin American novel uses a time-tested plot--a star-crossed romance between a member of the landed gentry and a doe-eyed mestizo maiden--as a vehicle for exposing how priests, politicians, and Creole landowners exploited Indian populations. "If history is the mirror where future generations are to contemplate the image of generations past, the task of the novel is to be the photograph that captures the vices and virtues of a people," Matto writes in her preface. The key word here is photograph, and Matto demonstrates her commitment to the newfangled method of naturalism throughout the novel, meticulously reproducing the landscape and native customs of the mountain town of Killac. Its plot, language, and characterization, however, are steeped in the worst excesses of Romantic idealism, and the modern reader may find some of its more breathless passages hard to take. As a historical document, however, Torn From the Nest is invaluable for anyone seeking to understand the early days of liberalism--or literary realism--in Latin American intellectual circles.