Gringa Latina: A Woman of Two Worlds

Gringa Latina: A Woman of Two Worlds

by Gabriella De Ferrari
     
 

Gringa Latina tells the story of a life spent in two cultures, filtered through the veils of memory. Gabrielia De Ferrari, the author of the acclaimed novel A Cloud on Sand, grew up in Peru, the daughter of gringos, or foreigners: her parents had come from Italy as newlyweds to set down roots in an exotic and alluring country far from home. De Ferrari recalls her… See more details below

Overview

Gringa Latina tells the story of a life spent in two cultures, filtered through the veils of memory. Gabrielia De Ferrari, the author of the acclaimed novel A Cloud on Sand, grew up in Peru, the daughter of gringos, or foreigners: her parents had come from Italy as newlyweds to set down roots in an exotic and alluring country far from home. De Ferrari recalls her privileged upbringing in the small desert town of Tacna, at the foothills of the silent Andes: the wonders of her mother's inventive cuisine, an inspired melding of Italian and Peruvian ingredients; her friendship with her Peruvian neighbor Senorita Luisa, doomed to be an old maid because her betrothed left her for someone else; her ties to Saturnina, the Indian maid who taught her about curses and miracles; and her admiration for her father, the trusted sage of their town. Eventually De Ferrari attended college in the United States, where she is called a Latina. She married an American and raised her children, as her parents did, in an adopted country far from home. Today, as she contemplates her life in America, where she feels both estranged and accepted, she realizes how much Peru peoples the landscape of her memory and remains a lodestar. Gringa Latina, a book of recollections, celebration, and self-definition, is the enchanting result.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Clear blue skies, desert sands, spicy food, and an atmosphere of colonialism permeate this memoir. De Ferrari is a sensual writer, transporting the reader into the past on a visit to her Peruvian childhood. (Even recipes are found here.) Though scenes from her later life are included, the childhood years remain the focus. De Ferrari's parents were Italian immigrants to Peru but not your huddled masses. Her father was an affluent businessman, and her mother was the convent-raised daughter of a once-wealthy family. So Gabriella was raised in a house of plenty in the midst of poverty. This book is apparently intended to convey the feelings of disconnection experienced by an outsider in her homeland and another kind of outsider in her adopted homeland (the United States), but its strengths lie mainly in the evocation of distant places and societal mores, the descriptions of the mother who created an oasis of Italian beauty in the Peruvian desert, and the character studies of the people who molded De Ferrari's sensibilities. Recommended for leisure-reading collections.-Denise Johnson, Bradley Univ. Lib., Peoria, Ill.
School Library Journal
YA-An autobiography of an American art curator and writer who grew up in Peru. Her father was a successful businessman and honorary Italian consul; her mother was noted for her melding of Italian and Peruvian cooking. The book is a series of short vignettes about the village and its residents, one of which introduces a pilot named ``gringo Cooper,'' who takes Gabriella and her father for a plane ride. The author also relates a conversation with Cooper after her father's death. The ability to move back and forth in time effortlessly is one of De Ferrari's talents. She is also skilled at setting a tone and sketching characters with few words. A book that should have wide appeal.-Clodagh Lee, Fairfax County Public Library
Booknews
Examining the cases of Quebec, Catalonia, and Scotland, Keating (political science, U. of Western Ontario) argues that nationalist politics have shifted from demanding a nation-state to preserving social cohesion in a world of weakened states. He asserts that the new nationalisms are civic rather than ethnic and exclusive, and that they are free trading and rooted in civil society as much as in state institutions. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Marie Arana-Ward
Elusive, emotional terrain.
—Marie Arana—Ward, Washington Post Book World
Charles Taylor
A marvelously rendered tale that…brims with emotion…a genuine pleasure.
—Charles Taylor, Boston Phoenix

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568361451
Publisher:
Kodansha International
Publication date:
03/22/1996
Series:
Kodansha Globe Series
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.67(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.57(d)

What People are saying about this

Francine du Plessix Gray
The richness with which De Ferrari evokes the colors, sense, and landscapes of her native Peru, the wit and compassion with which she depicts its complex society, are memorable. This is a haunting and very moving memoir.
—(Francine du Plessix Gray, author of Soviet Women: Walking the Tightrope)
Sandra Benitz
Being a gringa Latina myself, I am grateful to De Ferrari for so engagingly giving voice to both the condition and the way of my life. I was deftly led through familiar terrain: the comforting sense and textures, the beckoning call of those we leave behind, their haunting stories, the musicality of two languages attempting to converge. De Ferrari confirms what I've always known about us who feel split traveling our worlds: it is memory and imagination that anchors and makes us whole.
—(Sandra Benitz, author of A Place Where the Sea Remembers)
Verlyn Klinkenborg
Gringa Latina is a poignant tribute to the power of home and to the allure of adventure, written with the grace of memory in which recrimination plays no part. Reading it, you enter a garden in the desert, and you leave that garden, at last, with the greatest reluctance. This is a deeply moving book, filled with surprises.
—(Verlyn Klinkenborg, author of The Last Fine Time)
Kate Wheeler
Tender, restrained, and pellucid, De Ferrari's memoir evokes the richness and grace of a way of life that can still be sensed in coastal Peru.
—(Kate Wheeler, author of Not Where I Started From)

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >