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Dreams and Realities: Selected Fiction of Juana Manuela Gorriti [Paperback]

Juana Manuela Gorriti , Francine Masiello , Sergio Waisman

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Book Description

Jan. 6 2004 Library of Latin America
One of the most dramatic figures among Latin America's romantic writers and the distinguished woman writer of her century, Juana Manuela Gorriti brings passion and intrigue to the scene of writing. An exile from her native Argentina who sought refuge first in Bolivia and then in Peru, her lifetime of travel and displacement is echoed in her fictions. Her short stories tell of homelessness and nomadic yearnings, taking the reader from the Peruvian highlands, where Spanish colonizers plot to rob the treasures of the Incas, to the Argentine capital city plagued by sinister political intentions. Her later fictions move from Chile to scenes of the California Gold Rush. Covering the wide landscape of the Americas, Gorriti tracks the spirit of nineteenth-century adventurers and dandies, nation builders and soldiers who participate in the conflicts of settlement in a new and lawless land. Women are the protagonists here, mediating episodes of civil strife as they voice their despair about the treachery of fortune seekers in Latin America in the years following Independence from Spain. Dreams and Realities offers a sampling of Gorriti's stories, showing the range of her commitment to political fiction drawn in the romantic style. Originally published in four volumes under the titles Suenos y realidades and Panoramas de la vida, her works deal with the tyranny of the Rosas regime, the mediating role of women, and the clash of European and indigenous cultures. Notwithstanding her personal political leanings, Gorriti's stories and fictions provide a generous dose of swashbuckling adventure and romance. Translated into English for the first time by Sergio Waisman and with an Introduction, Chronology, and Critical Notes by Francine Masiello, the book gives a woman's view of the world of political intrigue and civil unrest that marks Latin America's turbulent nineteenth century.

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From Booklist

The latest installment of Oxford's Library of Latin America series presents the writings of Gorriti, who had a distinguished reputation as a writer during the nineteenth century. Her own dramatic life informed her stories--she was raised in a wealthy family in Argentina and eventually exiled to Bolivia during the postindependence civil strife. There she met her husband, who eventually ruled Bolivia first as a dictator and later as an elected president. Her stories match her travails and passions--they tell of lives ripped apart by warring factions, of wealthy neighbors struggling against each other, of the yearnings for a homeland. In this collection of short stories, it is primarily women who are the protagonists, and they are duly affected by the wars around them and the men who fight in them. There is more than one Romeo and Juliet story here, mixed with the seductive fables of the indigenous people of Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. Although her very modern sensibilities are mixed with unfortunate anti-Semitism, her stories still resound with the passions created by love, war, and gold. Michael Spinella
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"This first translation of Gorriti's works into English is important mainly for its historical context....A literary relic is salvaged."--Library Journal

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