"This collection is a testimony of hope and endurance through the power of writing. The experience that unites us and that we want to share with you is the experience of exile, of belonging neither in Chile nor the United States: our experience of existing between two cultures and not feeling comfortable in either of them, of choosing the path of political activism and uniting our destiny with that of the voices of marginalized women." --Marjorie Agosín
"I am convinced that [these letters] should be made public as a testimony of the life of women in Latin America, and of the Latina immigrants who live in the United States. The histories interwoven in our correspondence are not exceptions, they are the norm. These episodes from the lives of Marjorie and Emma are part of a voluminous tome of common histories that have been lived and continue to be lived by Latin American women, from our grandmothers to our daughters." --Emma Sepúlveda
This collection of letters chronicles a remarkable, long-term friendship between two women who, despite differences of religion and ethnicity, have followed remarkably parallel paths from their first adolescent meeting in their native Chile to their current lives in exile as writers, academics, and political activists in the United States. Spanning more than thirty years (1966-2000), Agosín's and Sepúlveda's letters speak eloquently on themes that are at once personal and political--family life and patriarchy, women's roles, the loneliness of being a religious or cultural outsider, political turmoil in Chile, and the experience of exile.
Good friends who were exiled to the United States at the start of General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship in 1973, poet Agos n (Spanish, Wellesley Coll.) and journalist Sep lveda (foreign languages and literature, Univ. of Nevada) have created a kind of memoir by compiling their 35-year-long correspondence. The collection moves from the trials and tribulations of their adolescence in Chile Sep lveda was brought up in an oppressive Italian Catholic household, and Agos n battled with discrimination as a Russian Jew to the terror of their fellow Chileans during Pinochet's overthrow of Allende, the most gripping part of the collection. Once they settled in the United States, the letters address the need to start from scratch in an entirely new language and culture. Throughout, the authors manage to weave in compelling vignettes about current Latin American politics, feelings of alienation, racism, the ironies of democracy, and the hollowness of academia. Though at times the later letters are pedestrian (especially when the women are writing about their jobs, marriages, and kids), in context, it is obvious that the authors are still trying to recover from leaving an entire world behind. As Agos n writes, "It was the country that saw us grow and gave us words, but also gave us silence." Recommended for both women's studies and Latin American studies collections. Adriana Lopez, "Cr ticas" Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.