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My Name Is Victoria: The Extraordinary Story of One Woman's Struggle to Reclaim Her True Identityby Victoria Donda
Synopses & Reviews
Argentina’s coup d’état in 1976 led to one of the bloodiest dictatorships in its history—thirty thousand people were abducted, tortured, and subsequently “disappeared.” And hundreds of babies born to pregnant political prisoners were stolen from their doomed mothers and “given” to families with military ties or who were collaborators of the regime. Analía was one of these children, raised without suspecting that she was adopted. At twenty seven, she learned that her name wasn’t what she believed it to be, that her parents weren’t her real parents, and that the farce conceived by the dictatorship had managed to survive through more than two decades of democracy.
In My Name is Victoria, it is no longer Analía, but Victoria who tells us her story, in her own words: the life of a young and thriving middleclass woman from the outskirts of Buenos Aires with strong political convictions. Growing up, she thought she was the black sheep of the family with ideas diametrically opposed to her parents’. It wasn’t until she discovered the truth about her origins and the shocking revelation of her uncle’s involvement in her parents’ murder and in her kidnapping and adoption that she was able to fully embrace her legacy. Today, as the youngest member of congress in Argentina, she has reclaimed her identity and her real name: Victoria Donda. This is Victoria’s story, from the moment her parents were abducted to the day she was elected to parliament.
"In this dramatic memoir, 33-year-old Donda (now a member of the Argentine National Congress and the youngest woman to hold this office) writes about growing up in a middle-class family during the late 1970s under Argentina's last military dictatorship. During the country's upheaval, more than 30,000 people (mostly young) died and many babies were 'relocated' to military families after being taken from anti-government sympathizers. Donda was one of those children. In this story of family betrayal and Donda's struggle to understand her childhood, she explains how she was raised as 'Analia' on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, and liked to pretend her name was Victoria. After attending law school and continuing her search for her past, Donda was eventually located in the late 1990s by the group Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Through DNA testing, she uncovered her real identity and learned to reconcile her two families. For readers interested in Argentina and its political past, this story will fascinate, though it may prove too intensely personal to sustain the interest of general readers. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Originally published in Spanish as Mi nombre es Victoria by Editorial Sudamericana, S.A., 2009."
About the Author
Victoria Donda is a human rights activist and legislator. She is the first daughter of a disappeared person, born in captivity, to become a member of the Argentine National Congress. She is also the youngest woman to hold that office.
Magda Bogin is a novelist, translator, and journalist. She is the author of Natalya, God’s Messenger, and The Women Troubadours, and has published numerous translations, including House of the Spirits. Fluent in Spanish, English, French, Italian, and Russian, she is the founder and director of Under the Volcano.
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