I, Rigoberta Menchu

Verso BooksSKU: 0860917886

Author:
Burgos-Debray, Elisabeth|Menchu, Rigoberta|Wright, Ann
Grade Levels:
Twelve, College, University
Nation:
Maya
Book Type:
PB
Pages:
251
Publisher:
Verso Books

Price:
Sale price$22.00

Description

Rigoberta Menchu was born in 1959 to a poor Indian peasant family in Guatemala. As a teenager she became involved in various social reform programs through the Catholic Church and became an active member of the women's rights movement. Menchu's work as an activist posed such a threat to the established order that she was forced to flee Guatemala in 1981, at which time she expanded her work and co-founded the United Representation of the Guatemalan Opposition (RUOG). In 1983, Rigoberta told her amazing life story to Elisabeth Burgos Debray, a French writer, resulting in the autobiography I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala. Rigoberta recounted her story orally and the task of transforming the story into a work of literature was left for Debray. Some controversy exists over this transformation, as with any work which is mediated by a third party. The finished product recounts the many, varied experiences of Rigoberta's life and reflects the common experiences shared by many Indian communities in Latin America. The book sparked immediate controversy and international attention as critics questioned the veracity of many of Menchu's claims. Some argued that Menchu's testimony was not the story of all poor Guatemalans, but instead a highly political document whose author was closely affiliated with Guatemala's largest guerilla group. The controversy continued as immediate responses to these accusations surfaced and the battle for Guatemala's history began. Despite the controversy surrounding Rigoberta Menchu's narrative, she has become a well known international advocate of Indian rights and ethno-cultural reconciliation, earning her numerous international awards including the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize which she accepted on behalf of Indigenous people worldwide. I, Rigoberta Menchu combines the events of her life, the religious and cultural beliefs of her community and her personal feminist and socialist ideals. She details birthing and agricultural practices, the role of the family, sweats and spiritual ceremonies, as well as marriage and funeral customs. Rigoberta's story is one of tragedy, courage and a passion for justice illuminated by one, extraordinary woman. This book is a must read for all citizens of the global society, and especially for post-secondary students interested in politics, Indigenous studies, development studies, Latin American history and Indigenous literature.

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