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Books of interest
on South American Jewry.


(click on a listing to learn more, add a review, or purchase it for up to 50% off, tax free) We also sell NYT Best Sellers for 50% off! Check out Ofrah's BookClub.

[book] The Jewish Gauchos of the Pampas
Jewish Latin America
By Alberto Gerchunoff. Translated by Preudencio de Pereda.
Univ of New Mexico Press. Alberto Gerchunoff (1884 - 1950) emigrated to Argentina from Russia and was a great influence on Jorge Luis Borges. He was also a friend of Ruben Dario, Leopoldo Lugones, and Delmira Agustini, and was a member of the Partido Democrata progresista and fought against the right wing policies of President Hipolito Irigoyen. This is a series of vignettes in translation from the Spanish about shtetl life in Argentina. It was first published in 1910, it contains 26 stories on life in Moisesville and Rajil, the Jewish agricultural communities in Argentina. Filled with literary precision. This book was considered the greatest modern Jewish work n Spanish.






[book] El Libro Judio Del Por Qué by Alfred J. Kolatch.
THE JEWISH BOOK OF WHY in Espanol.
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[book] Jews of the Amazon : Self-Exile in Earthly Paradise by Ariel Segal.
Hardcover (November 1999) Jewish Publication Society 340 pages. A fascinating cultural study. Venezuelan born Segal, an historian, anthropologist, and "participant"-observer, focuses on the tiny Jewish community of Iquitos, Peru, in the Amazon rainforest, to which Jewish men came during the rubber boom of the late 19th Century. These men married local Mestizo women and created a Jewish community with elements of Peruvian native, Inca, Mestizo, and Catholic religions. The Jewish-Mestizo's now number 100. Segal also discusses the tensions between the Jews of this village and the mainstream Jewish community of Lima on the coast
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[book] King David's Harp. Autobiographical Essays by Jewish Latin American Writers. Edited by Stphen Sadow
Paperback - 296 pages (September 1999) University of New Mexico Press. Stephen Sadow of Northeastern University has compiled this excellent collection of Jewish writing from Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Guatemala, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, and Argentina. Writers include men and women, and first and second generation writers, including Moacyr Scliar, Alberto Gerchunoff, Marjorie Agosin, Jose Kozer, Alcina Lubitch Domecq, Ricard Feierstein, Margo Glantz, Ilan Stavans, and of course Ariel Dorfman. .
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[book] Another Desert: Jewish Poetry of New Mexico by Joan Logghe (Editor), Miriam Sagan (Editor)
Paperback - 176 pages (1998). (Sherman Asher). Edited by Joan Logghe and Miriam Sagan, poets residing in northern New Mexico, this book includes the works of 28 poets, exploring their Jewish heritage in New Mexico, and their connection to the early Hispanic settlers and crypto Jews. Thematic chapters are structured around Kaddish and Conversos, conversion, Diaspora, Holy Days and Blessings, and Ancestors. The intro includes an enlightening chapter of the 400 year history of Jewish settlement in what is now New Mexico. Includes the poetry of Marjorie Agosin; Robin Becker; Beth Enson; Max Finstein; Yehudis Fishman; Gene Frumkin; Bill Gersh; A. S. Gintzler; Jenny Goldberg; Natalie Goldberg; and Lynn Gottlieb to name just A thru G. Click to read the list of all the poems and poets.
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[book] Isaac Unbound : Patriarchal Traditions in the Latin American Jewish Novel by Lois Baer Barr
Paperback - 201 pages (April 1997) Arizona State Univ.
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[book] The Jewish White Slave Trade and the Untold Story of Raquel Liberman (Latin American Studies, 14) by Nora Glickman
Hardcover (July 1999)
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[book] Jewish Voices in Brazilian Literature : A Prophetic Discourse of Alterity by Nelson H. Vieira
Hardcover - 256 pages (March 1996) University Press of Florida. Includes a discussion on Samuel Rawet, Clarice Lispector, and of course, Moacyr Scliar
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[book] The Cross and the Pear Tree : A Sephardic Journey by Victor Perera
Paperback Reprint edition (October 1996) Univ California Press. Perera, who was born in Guatemala City of Sephardic Jews from Jerusalem, explores the history of his family, choosing those members whose lives illuminate important facets of the Sephardic experience.
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[book] Ashkenazi Jews in Mexico : Ideologies in the Structuring of a Community by Adina Cimet, Walter P. Zenner (Editor)
State University of NY. Click to read more.
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[book] Rites : A Guatemalan Boyhood by Victor Perera
Paperback - 202 pages Reprint edition (October 1994). Ahh yes, and the famous re-circumcision scene at the age of six, when the rabbi said that the first circumcision wasn't "kosher"
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[book] Heading South, Looking North : A Bilingual Journey by Ariel Dorfman
Hardcover - 256 pages (April 1998) Farrar Straus & Giroux. The best written book I read in Spring 1998. It is wondrous to see a master craftsman work with the language and express his ideas. All I can say is that Ariel Dorfman's therapist must spend a lot of time dealing with the fear of death. This is an intensely personal story of a man whose life was battered by politics, confused by competing languages and, eventually, held together by a need to write. When he was born in Argentina, the first thing he heard was his mother yelling that she thought he was falling. In the first weeks of his childhood exile to the U.S., he was hospitalized (but not near death). As a young man, his mentors and friends were killed by a military junta in Chile. Then he was off to Europe, Cuba, and then the U.S. Thinking in Spanish, speaking in English, and visa versa. This is a story of the quest for identity.
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[book] 500 Years in the Jewish Caribbean: The Spanish & Portuguese Jews in the West Indies by Harry A. Ezratty
Paperback.
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[book] One-Handed Pianist and Other Stories by Ilan Stavans
Hardcover (April 1996) University of New Mexico Press I was fortunate enough to see Mr. Stavans, a Professor at Amherst, at a reading by Latin American Jewish writers at New York's Jewish Museum in 1998. This is a collection of nine stories. "A Heaven Without Crows," structured as a letter from Kafka to his friend Max Brod, details the labyrinthine paths of his tortured soul. "The Invention of Memory," awarded the Gamma Literature Prize, is also a tribute to Eastern European letters, in which a Czech man with a portentous memory is diagnosed with a deteriorating illness. The title story is a bizarre tale, a succinct and tangential homage to Felisberto Hernandez's piano narratives and to Oliver Sacks's neurological anecdotes, in which a young woman loses touch with one of her hands. The volume concludes with an autobiographical essay, "Lost in Translation," in which Stavans comments on his experience growing up Jewish in Mexico. By the way, in Stavan's book, "The Riddle of Cantinflas", there is an interesting essay on celebrating Hanukkah in Mexico in the 60's and 70's.
P.S. Stavan's has been quite prolific in creating antholigies of Hispanic literature, and has come under fire from other academics becuase they feel that he isn't Hispanic since he is a Mexican born Jew. What a bunch of academic jerks.
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[book] The Book of Memories (Jewish Latin America Series) by Ana Maria Shua, Dick Gerdes (Translator), Ilan Stavans
($33 before discount) Hardcover - 200 pages (October 1998) University of New Mexico Press.
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[book] Tradition and Innovation : Reflections on Latin American Jewish Writing (Suny Series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture) by Nora Glickman (Editor), Robert Diantonio (Editor)
Paperback - 225 pages (August 1993)
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[book] Tropical Diaspora : The Jewish Experience in Cuba by Robert M. Levine
Hardcover - 398 pages (August 1993) University Press of Florida. Better read it before all the Jews in Havana have left for Israel...
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[book] Argentine Jewish Theatre : A Critical Anthology by Nora Glickman (Editor), Gloria Waldman (Editor)
Hardcover (June 1996) Bucknell. The eight plays in Argentine Jewish Theatre examine the dilemmas that Jewish immigrants from the Eastern European shtetls faced as they left their traditional values and adopted a foreign culture. The playwrights' main concern was to relate intimate experiences dealing with generational conflicts - problems of ethnic identity, intermarriage, integration, and assimilation. Click through to read more.
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[book] Tropical Synagogues : Short Stories by Jewish-Latin American Writers by Ilan Stavans (Editor)
($35) Hardcover (August 1994) Holmes & Meier, Publishers, Inc. In the words of Ariel Dorfman, "An anthology of this sort was long overdue. It will delight and intrigue fans of Latin American and Jewish Literature everywhere." Stavans illuminates each story through an informative introduction. Of the more than 20 writers, from Mexico, Guatemala, and South American countries, many employ symbolism or imagery from the Kabbalah. Authors include the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, and Argentine Gerardo Goloboff
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[book] The Silver Candelabra & Other Stories: A Century of Jewish Argentine Literature by Rita Mazzetti Gardio (editor)
($17) Paperback - 256 pages (October 1997) Latin Amer Literary Review Pr.
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[book] Claper (Jewish Latin America) by Alicia Freilich, Joan E. Friedman (Translator), Ilan Stavans (Introduction)
($40) Hardcover (March 1998) University of New Mexico Press.
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[book] The Collected Stories of Moacyr Scliar (Jewish Latin America)
(not published yet) University of New Mexico Press. He combines Latin American and Jewish cultures. All his other books are out of print in the U.S., so look forward to this collection, by the Brazilian Jewish author that The Times calls a delicious Chekhov and Maupassant. Born in Rio Grande de Sul in southern Brazil, he is author of The Ballad of the False Messiah; Max and the Cats; The Volunteers; and over 40 other books. He also wrote am anthology of Jewish humor in the Brazilian idoim of Portuguese. I met Senior Scliar the week that Octavio Paz died. He told me that he felt that the first generation did not write, but the second generation, which had access to the new language, but the conflict of not fitting in, created literature. He said that he never denied his religion, he was raised in a Jewish neighborhood, and he thinks storytelling is a Jewish art. Jewish characters fill his books, as do melancholy, Yiddish inspired humor and symbolism.




SHHHHHH........
NOW WITH NAFTA PASSED AND EVERYTHING, WE WILL SNEAK IN SOME
CANADIAN JEWISH BOOKS TOO

[book] Everyday Miracle : Yiddish Culture in Montreal (Dossier Quebec Series) by Ira Robinson, Pierre Anctil, Mervin Butovsky (Editor)
Paperback (January 1999)
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[book] Selected Poems (Collected Works of A.M. Klein.) by A. M. Klein, Zailig Pollock (Editor))

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[book] Identity and Community : Reflections on English, Yiddish, and French Literature in Canada by Irving Massey
Hardcover (November 1994) Wayne State Univ Pr
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[book] Renewing Our Days: Montreal Jews in the Twentieth Century by Ira Robinson, Mervin Butovsky
paperback 1995
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[book] Branching Out : The Transformation of the Canadian Jewish Community by Gerald Tulchinsky
Hardcover - (October 1998) Click even for a sec just to check out the table of contents, quite an eye-opener
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