The Other Son of God is the English version of Al rte de Dios (1994), the tenth vel by the rewned Ecuadorian writer, Nelson Estupinan Bass (1912-2002). The author situates the work within the realm of the fantastic, a move that enables him to give free rein to his imagination. The protagonist, Satan, is the son that God, in his youth, fathered with an African woman. While serving as God's aide-de-camp, Satan rebels and is banished to hell. The cause of the rebellion is Satan's belief that God has been giving preferential treatment to Satan's brother. The settings for the action are heaven, hell, and earth, and the characters include, among others, God, Jesus, the Blessed Virgin, and the Archangel Gabriel, who inhabit heaven; Satan and historical and biblical figures who reside in hell; and human inhabitants of earth. The action begins when God, disappointed with Jesus' failure to reform man during his stay on earth, sentences Jesus to one year in a prison in hell, summons his black son to heaven, and reassigns the task of man's rehabilitation to him. Satan accepts the challenge and returns to hell, accompanied by Sister Etelvina, a former nun, who has become bored with life in heaven, and Jesus. The former nun quickly becomes a trusted aide to Satan and is the narrator who describes the physical features of hell as well as the work activities and punishments of the condemned. On earth, Satan, with the help of seven disciples, works to reform man. He then spends some time in hell before returning to heaven accompanied by Jesus and his family (Jesus gets married while in hell and fathers a child there.) In God's meeting with Satan and Jesus, the focus of the conversation is on Satan's activities on earth and God's ideas for the future of heaven, hell, and earth. It is worth ting that the author takes pains to examine common social, political and ethical issues encountered in all three settings-heaven, hell and earth-in which the action of the vel unfolds.
Nelson Estupinan Bass (1912-2002) is undoubtedly the most renowned Afro-Ecuadorian author of the twentieth century. He won many national and international honors and awards for his numerous outstanding contributions to Afro-Hispanic culture and was a 1998 nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Estupinan's literary output includes poetry collections, short stories, essays on Afro-Ecuadorian culture, and ten novels. All of his efforts in fiction reflect his steadfast commitment to social justice and his penchant for innovative narrative techniques. To date, four of his novels, Cuando los guayacanes florecian (!954), El ultimo rio (1966), Toque de queda (1978), and Al norte de Dios (1994) have been published in English.