Synopses & Reviews
Poetry. In this bilingual collection of poetry, Marjorie Agosin focuses on the great cities of the world and the suffering endured there as the result of war and similar atrocities. With a spare hand, Agosin also creates haunting and memorable portraits of the people who populate this landscape, allowing us to see that at the core of our existence is something human, something indeed splendid.
About the Author
Marjorie Agosn, human rights activist, writer, and scholar, was born in Bethesda, MD, in 1955, but her family returned to Chile when she was only three months old. A descendant of Russian and Austrian Jews who fled pogroms and the Holocaust, she grew up in Santiago de Chile, where she attended the Instituto Hebreo (Jewish school) until she was fourteen. Then, the Pinochet dictatorship forced her family into exile. In 1971, they moved to the U.S., where Agosn completed her education. She is currently a professor of Latin American Studies at Wellesley College, MA. Agosn has won several awards for her human rights work, including the Good Neighbor Award given by the Conference of Christians and Jews and the Jeanette Rankin Award in 1995. She received also in 1995 two prestigious literary prizes: the Letras de Oro prize for poetry, and the Latino Literature Prize for her poetry collection Toward the Splendid City (1994). Agosn is one of the most prolific Latin American women writers living in the US. She has published over 20 books of poetry, four books that could be defined as either autobiographical fiction or memoirs, three collections of short fiction, and 10 books that include scholarly work and personal essays devoted to women and human rights. She is also the editor of 18 anthologies of literary works, literary criticism, and autobiographical writings. Her poetry, fiction, and most of her essays are published in Spanish. Her early poetry collections were first published in Latin America, but her latest poems have been first published in the U.S. in bilingual editions. Her autobiographical writings focus on her family background and her personal experience of displacement as a Jewish Chilean woman in the U.S. She defines herself as Latin American, rather than Latina, and considers herself primarily a poet. Cultural translation is an essential aspect of her works as a committed writer, educator, and scholar. As an editor, she is mainly interested in giving visibility to Latin American literature and culture, and especially women's contributions in literature and in the arts.