Edited by Marjorie Agosín
"A very significant addition to the fields of Judaic Studies and Women's Studies...this book makes a unique contribution to literary scholars interested in the Jewish presence in Latin America and in the literature of displacement in general."
Isabel Alvarez Borland, College of the Holy Cross
In Taking Root, Latin American women of Jewish descent, from Mexico to Uruguay, recall their coming of age with Sabbath candles and Hebrew prayers, Ladino songs and merengue music, Queen Esther and the Virgin of Guadalupe. Rich and poor, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, Jewish immigrant families searched for a new home and identity in predominantly Catholic societies. The essays included here examine the religious, economic, social, and political choices these families have made and continue to make as they forge Jewish identities in the New World.
Marjorie Agosín has gathered narratives and testimonies that reveal the immense diversity of Latin American Jewish experience. These essays, based on first- and second-generation immigrant experience, describe differing points of view and levels of involvement in Jewish tradition. In Taking Root, Agosín presents us with a contemporary and vivid account of the Jewish experience in Latin America.
Taking Root documents the sadness of exile and loss but also a fierce determination to maintain Jewish traditions. This is Jewish history but it is also part of the untold history of Brazil, Argentina, El Salvador, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, and all of Latin America.
Marjorie Agosín is the author of A Map of Hope and The Alphabet in My Hands and the editor of Taking Root: Narratives of Jewish Women in Latin America. She is a member of the Spanish Academy of Letters and winner of the Gabriela Mistral Medal of Honor. She is a professor of Spanish at Wellesley College. More info →
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José María Arguedas (1911–1969) is one of the most important authors to speak to issues of the survival of native cultures. José María Arguedas: Reconsiderations for Latin American Cultural Studies presents his views from multiple perspectives for English-speaking audiences for the first time.
“I imagine everyone has a center of gravity,” says Ellen Bromfield Geld. “Something which binds one to the earth and gives sense and direction to what one does.” For Ellen, this center is a writing table before a window that looks out upon groves of pecan trees and mahogany-colored cattle in seas of grass. The place is Fazenda Pau D’Alho, Brazil, where she and her husband, Carson, have lived and farmed since 1961.