In Mirrors, Uruguayan journalist and author Eduardo Galeano continued his poetic illumination of the forgotten, offering his most sweeping, cohesive, and empathetic work. Written in the singular style that characterizes all of his books, Mirrors is composed of some 600 beautifully crafted vignettes. Galeano, in a dazzling display of literary prowess, recollects 5,000 years of human history — paying due attention to the silenced, neglected, and disregarded individuals and groups of days past and present. While Galeano's fidelity to memory, justice, and truth are indeed remarkable; it is the grace, humor, and compassion with which he writes that set his works far beyond the realm of his contemporaries. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Throughout his career, Eduardo Galeano has turned our understanding of history and reality on its head. Isabelle Allende said his works invade the readers mind, to persuade him or her to surrender to the charm of his writing and power of his idealism.”
Mirrors, Galeano's most ambitious project since Memory of Fire, is an unofficial history of the world seen through history's unseen, unheard, and forgotten. As Galeano notes: Official history has it that Vasco Núñez de Balboa was the first man to see, from a summit in Panama, the two oceans at once. Were the people who lived there blind??”
Recalling the lives of artists, writers, gods, and visionaries, from the Garden of Eden to twenty-first-century New York, of the black slaves who built the White House and the women erased by men's fears, and told in hundreds of kaleidoscopic vignettes, Mirrors is a magic mosaic of our humanity.
"Brightly coloured commonplace book of a kind that was once popular in our culture but has now almost disappeared - The beauty of Galeano's book lies not just in the eclectic choice of stories he tells, but more especially in his elegant, pared-down prose, sensitively translated by Mark Fried, with never an unnecessary word, nor one out of place - Galeano's book is pure delight - a cornucopia of wonderful stories. It should be by everyone's bedside - and in every Christmas stocking." Richard Gott, Guardian
"In his poetic nonfiction, Galeano performs the sort of extraordinary feats of compassion, artistry, and imagination achieved in fiction by his fellow visionary Latin American writers, especially Borges, García Márquez, and Bolaño. Galeano’s seminal works, most notably Memory of Fire (1988), have been enormously influential in both content and form, and now this historian of conscience, this humanely ironic commentator and dazzling storyteller, distills the entire wild pageant of human history into a radiant mosaic of pithy fables, essays, and portraits. Galeano circles the planet, tallying our triumphs and crimes from cave paintings to genocide, gathering myths, exposing lies, and reclaiming forgotten heroes. Origin stories are a favorite subject, both authentic and impishly improvised, as in “Origin of the World Trade Organization,” in which Zeus chooses Hermes to be the god of trade “because he was the best liar.” Galeano is particularly ardent in his parsing of the perpetual injustice and violence against women, the perversion of religion and the habit of war, the horrors of slavery, the evolution of science, and the pillaging of the earth. Themes and connecting patterns rise up like waves and carry forward flotillas of essays in this gorgeously fluid and caustic chronicle of the human condition." Donna Seaman, Booklist Starred Review
"The acclaimed Uruguayan writer Galeano offers another striking but hard to classify work—except in relation to his own oeuvre: this book being something like a companion piece to Book of Embraces or his three-volume Memory of Fire. In pithy retellings of creation myths and reflections on history, he uses the past to comment on the present: juxtaposing the origin of the Hindu caste system and the untouchable class, whose members were responsible for cleaning up the wreckage of the 2004 tsunami, revealing how the casualties of the invasion of Iraq were not only human but memory itself, embodied by the destruction of priceless artifacts from the birthplace of writing. These vignettes embrace the exalted and the humble, and consistently privilege the narratives of the dispossessed—indigenous people, women and accounts from the global south. Across disparate civilizations and centuries—but always with an unflinching eye (and irony) trained on the present—Galeano's stories register the imaginations of our mythmaking species, the elaborate gestures of (gendered) forms of power and the spirit of rebellion and resilience that fires the underdog masses." Publishers Weekly Starred Review, (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mirrors is a sometimes bawdy, sometimes irreverent, sometimes heartbreaking unofficial history of the world seen and mirrored to usthrough the eyes and ears of history's unseen, unheard, and forgotten. Spanning 5,000 years of history, recalling the lives of artists and writers, visionaries from the Garden of Eden to twenty-first century New York and Mumbai, and told in hundreds of kaleidoscopic vignettes that resurrect the lives of our worlds oft-forgotten thinkers and feelers” Mirrors is a mosaic of our humanity.
About the Author
Eduardo Galeanos works include Memory of Fire (three volumes), Open Veins of Latin America, and more; they have been translated into twenty-eight languages. Born in Montevideo, Galeano lived in exile in Argentina and Spain for years before returning to Uruguay. He was the recipient of the first Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom.