"In Osorno, Chile, the Nazis were the great feudal lords of the south and being Jewish was like possessing a savage and dangerous scar." The author thus describes the backdrop for this memoir of growing up as the daughter of European Jewish immigrants to Chile in the years before and after World War II. Speaking through the voice of her mother, she says, "I write these sometimes intermittent and true memories with the voice of an adolescent and then of a woman. . . . I wish to talk about my life in an unseemly and noisy house in southern Chile and about a town with fifty Nazis and three Jewish families. Everything I tell you is true and this is why I write so that it will be even more certain." This beautifully written story offers glimpses of cultures and landscapes little known outside of Chile. The narrative weaves back and forth through time offering the stories of the narrator's family: her father who had to leave Vienna around 1920 because he fell in love with a Christian cabaret dancer, her paternal grandmother who came to Chile in 1939 with a number tattooed on her arm, her mother's family from Odessa, and numerous aunts and uncles. The narrator returns to Osorno in 1993 and notes how little has changed. The Germans still display portraits of Hitler in their homes and sell Hitler memorabilia.
Product dimensions: 4.95 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.50 (d)
Meet the Author
MARJORIE AGOSIN (born 1955) is an award-winning poet, essayist, fiction writer, activist, and professor. She is a prolific author: her published books, including those she has written as well as those she has edited, number over eighty. Her two most recent books are both poetry collections, The Light of Desire / La Luz del Deseo, and Secrets in the Sand: The Young Women of Juárez, about the female homicides in Ciudad Juárez. She teaches Spanish language and Latin American literature at Wellesley College. She has won notability for her outspokenness for women rights in Chile. The United Nations has honored her for her work on human rights. She also won many important literary awards. The Chilean government awarded her with the Gabriela Mistral Medal of Honor for Life Achievement in 2002. Agosín was born in 1955 to Moises and Frida Agosín in Chile, where she lived her childhood in a German community.