Steps Under Water

Overview

Steps Under Water is a novel drawn from Alicia Kozameh’s experiences as a political prisoner in Argentina during the “Dirty War” of the 1970s.

"Translation of Pasos bajo el agua, with brief introductory notes (dated 1987 and 1996) by author and foreword by Sosnowski, who describes the military dictatorship under which Kozameh lived and was imprisoned. A powerful, moving book in both languages; however, bilingual readers no doubt will miss Kozameh's drawings done during her imprisonment, and may ...

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Overview

Steps Under Water is a novel drawn from Alicia Kozameh’s experiences as a political prisoner in Argentina during the “Dirty War” of the 1970s.

"Translation of Pasos bajo el agua, with brief introductory notes (dated 1987 and 1996) by author and foreword by Sosnowski, who describes the military dictatorship under which Kozameh lived and was imprisoned. A powerful, moving book in both languages; however, bilingual readers no doubt will miss Kozameh's drawings done during her imprisonment, and may regret the alterations to the original intended to make the book more attractive and accessible to readers in English"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In September 1975, six months before the fall of Isabel Pern, Kozameh became yet another Argentinean political prisoner. Here, she translates her 39-month ordeal (and the subsequent two years of "freedom under surveillance") into a novel that, though uneven at times, effectively brings the reader into a nightmarish world of incarceration and fear. The author's alias is named Sara, a young woman who is arrested and whose lover, Hugo, disappears. After a brutal stint in prison, she tries to reclaim her life, but the memories of her time in prison continue to haunt her. Then Hugo reappears in prison, and Sara struggles to negotiate her relationship with him and with Marco, a married man. Underlying all this is the possibility of another arrest and incarceration. Kozameh is at her best depicting the horrors of prison life and the sisterhood that develops through the prisoners' daily struggle. Outside the prison, Sara and the other characters are more woodenperhaps because their imprisonment has left them emotionally stunted in the face of a mundane world. In an epigraph, the author writes: "The substance of the story, or every episode, is real; it happened." That is quite a burden for any author, but Kozameh has produced a book that succeeds both as fiction and as testimony. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Kozameh's three-year imprisonment as a political prisoner during Argentina's "Dirty War" of the 1970s provides the fodder for this largely autobiographical novel that focuses more on the recollection and effects of imprisonment rather than the experience of the incarceration per se; thus the expected elements of physical brutality and torture are conspicuously absent. The narrator begins the tale with her release, then cuts to the collective experience of the victims, employing letters, diaries, dialog, and cinematography. The net result is the universalization of a personal predicament that indicts all repressionist regimes. An innovative contribution to the genre of Latin American political fiction; recommended for public libraries.Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, Ohio
Kirkus Reviews
Steps Under Water (, paper Nov. 1996; 161 pp.; 0- 520-20387-9, paper 0-520-20388-7): First US appearance of an Argentine novel, originally published in 1987, which interweaves letters, diary entries, and narrative to detail the persecutions of leftist revolutionaries during their country's notorious "dirty war" of the 1970s. Both the material and the tone of moral indignation are familiar, but Kozameh's skillful and obviously deeply felt blending of hair-raising narrative with thoughtful moral reflection keeps the reader off balance and in suspense. One of the best fictional monuments to "the disappeared," and a memorable characterization of its central figure—a courageous heroine who is unquestionably an autobiographical figure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520203884
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 11/4/1996
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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