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Departing at Dawn: A Novel of Argentina's Dirty War
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The Feminist Press at CUNY 2009
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"[A] quiet, powerful novel" of a young woman caught in the chaos of Argentina in the mid-1970s, when speaking against the government could mean death (Publishers Weekly). March 23, 1976. Berta watches horrified as her lover, a union organizer named Atilio, is thrown from a window to his death by soldiers. The next day, Colonel Jorge Rafael Videla stages a coup d'état and a military dictatorship takes control of Argentina. And even though she was never a part of Atilio's union efforts, Berta is on a list to be "disappeared." Fleeing to relatives in the countryside, she becomes part of the family she knows only from old photographs: Aunt Avelina, who blasts music from an old record player; Uncle Nepomuceno, who watches slugs slither in the garden every afternoon; and Uncle Javier, who sits in his tiny grocery store day and night. But soon enough, Berta realizes she must run even further to save her life—and those she has come to love. With a prose that is light yet penetrating, Gloria Lisé has written "a beautifully simple, poetic story of solidarity and love, with memorable characters painted in the tender strokes of a watercolor" (Luisa Valenzuela, author of Black Novel with Argentines).
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Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/01/2009
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781558616479
ASIN:
B002MUB7F8
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APA Citation (style guide)

Gloria Lisé. (2009). Departing at Dawn: A Novel of Argentina's Dirty War. The Feminist Press at CUNY.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Gloria Lisé. 2009. Departing At Dawn: A Novel of Argentina's Dirty War. The Feminist Press at CUNY.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Gloria Lisé, Departing At Dawn: A Novel of Argentina's Dirty War. The Feminist Press at CUNY, 2009.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Gloria Lisé. Departing At Dawn: A Novel of Argentina's Dirty War. The Feminist Press at CUNY, 2009. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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shortDescription
"[A] quiet, powerful novel" of a young woman caught in the chaos of Argentina in the mid-1970s, when speaking against the government could mean death (Publishers Weekly).

March 23, 1976. Berta watches horrified as her lover, a union organizer named Atilio, is thrown from a window to his death by soldiers. The next day, Colonel Jorge Rafael Videla stages a coup d'état and a military dictatorship takes control of Argentina. And even though she was never a part of Atilio's union efforts, Berta is on a list to be "disappeared."

Fleeing to relatives in the countryside, she becomes part of the family she knows only from old photographs: Aunt Avelina, who blasts music from an old record player; Uncle Nepomuceno, who watches slugs slither in the garden every afternoon; and Uncle Javier, who sits in his tiny grocery store day and night. But soon enough, Berta realizes she must run even further to save her life—and those she has come to...
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title
Departing at Dawn
fullDescription
"[A] quiet, powerful novel" of a young woman caught in the chaos of Argentina in the mid-1970s, when speaking against the government could mean death (Publishers Weekly).

March 23, 1976. Berta watches horrified as her lover, a union organizer named Atilio, is thrown from a window to his death by soldiers. The next day, Colonel Jorge Rafael Videla stages a coup d'état and a military dictatorship takes control of Argentina. And even though she was never a part of Atilio's union efforts, Berta is on a list to be "disappeared."

Fleeing to relatives in the countryside, she becomes part of the family she knows only from old photographs: Aunt Avelina, who blasts music from an old record player; Uncle Nepomuceno, who watches slugs slither in the garden every afternoon; and Uncle Javier, who sits in his tiny grocery store day and night. But soon enough, Berta realizes she must run even further to save her life—and those she has come to love.

With a prose that is light yet penetrating, Gloria Lisé has written "a beautifully simple, poetic story of solidarity and love, with memorable characters painted in the tender strokes of a watercolor" (Luisa Valenzuela, author of Black Novel with Argentines).
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      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content:

        "With graceful writing . . . Lisé sketches Berta's quest for autonomy and self against the vivid, violent backdrop of a country seeking the same."

      • premium: False
      • source: Ana Castillo, author of Massacre of the Dreamers
      • content: "It never ceases to astound me how many people around the world choose to deny a dark period in the history of their respective nations. Anyone anywhere today in need of the reminder that political change begins with speaking out should read this testimony."
      • premium: False
      • source: David William Foster, author of Violence in Argentine Literature
      • content: "Immense human depth and a high quality of writing."
      • premium: False
      • source: Luisa Valenzuela, author of Black Novel (with Argentines)
      • content: "From the heart of Argentina comes a novel of the heart, where the outbreak of our worst military dictatorship is told with utmost reserve. Departing at Dawn is a beautifully simple, poetic story of solidarity and love, with memorable characters painted in the tender strokes of a watercolor."
      • premium: False
      • source: Artenauta Periodico de Cultura
      • content: "Deeply endearing. . . . The author offers no apologies or heroes, only humble beings . . . whose portraits are remarkably true-to-life. All kinds of readers will recognize themselves somewhere in this compelling narrative."
      • premium: False
      • source: Magdalena Maiz-Peña, professor and chair of Spanish, Davidson College
      • content: "An intriguing, fast-paced fictional narrative of the 1976 Argentine dictatorship. This postmodern parable tells the story of a nomadic female subject on her fugitive escape from torture and death."
      • premium: False
      • source: Gisela Norat, professor of Spanish, Agnes Scott College
      • content: "As homage for a generation sacrificed and a call for vigilance against national pogroms, Lisé taps memory as living historical archive to reveal the indomitable Argentine spirit of survival incarnate in its immigrant, indigenous and working class peoples. Highly recommended for high school and college libraries and curriculums including English, Latin American, history, women's studies, and cultural studies."
      • premium: False
      • source: Cynthia Margarita Tompkins, associate professor of Spanish, Arizona State University
      • content: "Gloria Lisé's Departing at Dawn follows the trail blazed by Alicia Partnoy, Alicia Kozameh, Cristina Feijóo and Nora Strejilevich, and makes a significant contribution to our understanding of that era. Alice Weldon's remarkable translation faithfully renders the tone of this poignant novel."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 15, 2009
        This quiet, powerful novel from Argentinian author Lisé is told by a young woman caught up in the country's March 1976 coup d'etat. As General Videla's thugs prepare to overturn the government of General Peron's widow, 20-year-old medical student Berta witnesses her Peronist lover thrown off a balcony. Fearing for her safety as the province of Tucuman succumbs to chaos, Berta flees to her mother's sister, then to the family's hardscrabble farm at Olpa to live with her uncle. Nearly two years pass at this idyllic outpost, with time spent among a happily mixed community descended from original Spaniards and native Indians, where Berta uses her medical training to aid the local, aging midwife, before danger encroaches again. Avoiding ponderous political allegory with graceful writing, lawyer and professor Lisé sketches Berta's quest for autonomy and self against the vivid, violent backdrop of a country seeking the same: “Argentina was like an unfinished poem somebody was keeping in a bottle, for later.”

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 15, 2009
        Relatively new to the literary scene, Argentine lawyer and professor Lisé sets her novel early in General Videla's repressive regime, a seven-year era following Isabel Perón's overthrow in 1976 that became known as the Dirty War, when thousands of political victims were imprisoned or killed or simply disappeared. Berta Rojas watches helplessly as her boyfriend, Atilio, is hurled from a Tucumán balcony to his death for his outlawed union activities and immediately realizes that her own life is in danger. She hides out first with her uncle and aunt in La Rioja and then at her Uncle Tristán's farm in Olpa, eventually heading for Buenos Aires, determined to leave the country. Lisé's thinly veiled work of fiction reads like a personal diary, as we eavesdrop on Berta, who at any moment risks being denounced. Ultimately, Berta, who risks everything, symbolizes how a national crisis affects innocent citizens at the individual level. VERDICT A well-written and engaging story of one person's escape from tyranny whose appeal goes beyond the implicitly narrow focus of the publisher's name, extending to a wider audience of Latin American historians and buffs of historical fiction.Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, OH

        Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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