By Marjorie Agos­in

"I desire to speak about my existence in an unseemly and noisy apartment in southern Chile and a few city with fifty Nazis and 3 Jewish families..."

In this distinctive memoir, Marjorie Agosín writes within the voice of her mom, Frida, who grew up because the daughter of ecu Jewish immigrants in Chile on this planet struggle II period. Woven into the narrative are the tales of Frida's father, who needed to depart Vienna in 1920 simply because he fell in love with a Christian cabaret dancer; of her paternal grandmother, who arrived in Chile later with a host tattoed on her arm; and of her nice grandmother from Odessa, who enjoyed the Spanish language a lot that she repeated its harmonious sounds even in her sleep. Agosín's memoir is a relocating testomony to patience and to the ability of reminiscence and of words.

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Extra resources for A Cross and a Star: Memoirs of a Jewish Girl in Chile

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Sonia was hardworking and dedicated to educating her children, the boys that is. She even sent the oldest son to a seminary. She didn't worry so much about her daughter because after all girls were pretty, quiet, and foolish. Sonia worked by selling tablecloths which she bought more cheaply from some nuns from Cerro Alegre, and she managed to educate her male children for professions never before dreamed of for Jews. Engineers and accountants were among them. When she had to pay for the thesis of her son, Gregory, the distinguished dentist of the Province, Sonia had to sell the red living room furniture, which she did without a gripe or sense of loss.

How then do we see ourselves and how are our perceptions of others influenced by our memories and experiences both past and present? Also, how does the venom of hatred, racism, bigotry, and fear affect the lives of the innocent, creating divisions between the self and others that threaten to destroy the foundations of our very humanity by infecting it at the roots? These are questions that are appropriate to address in this late twentieth century Page xix where we can witness firsthand the renewed violence and devastation emerging from nationalist movements that condone ethnic cleansing, genocide, and oppression as their primary tools for survival.

It would slip from her body and liked to loaf about nude in the bathrooms and spend endless hours looking at the sky or pausing before the rhythms of the fierce and rolling waves. My Aunt Lucha begged it to return. Her wails were astounding and irate. My mother, who in that long ago time was a young little miss worried about menstrual cramps, went about the house like a lunatic looking for the mischievous hip until she managed to catch it as if it were a bold colored butterfly. Aunt Lucha had fifty-two operations in her long life.

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A Cross and a Star: Memoirs of a Jewish Girl in Chile by Marjorie Agos­in


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