A religious allegory about Christians, Jews, and others, based upon a Passion play among Yucatan Indians, The Martyrdom of Stephen Werner uses the jungles of Guyana to elicit the primitive nature of the deicide charge, or what Hyman Maccoby has called, “the nightmare mythology.” The locale here is the boundary between Guiana and Brazil, in a place on the atlas designated “area of dispute.”
.”…a voyage back in psace, in teime, and to an ealier mythos which substitutes itself insistently for history…. What Stephen encounters in the jungle, along with heat, bugs, and the oppressive sense of unseen presence can be compared with what happens in The Heart of Darkness and in Typee…. it is always surprising that the fulfillment of a gradually revealed pattern is so satisfying, even in its agony.” Ellen Ferber
.”Roberta quickly and deftly immerses us in another time, another place — like Penelope Fitzgerald. But at the same time, like Conrad, she imbues that exotic setting with religious and spcyhological implications and involes us passionately in the fate of her hero.” Richard Seltzer
Blonde, long-legged, good-looking, adventurous, Stephen Werner is assimilated to the modern world in looks and in spirit – in everything but his destiny.