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Departing at Dawn : A Novel of Argentina's Dirty War
by Gloria Lise and Alice Weldon


Overview - March 23, 1976. Berta watches as her lover, Atilio, a union organizer, is thrown from a window to his death on the sidewalk below. The next day, Colonel Jorge Rafael Videla stages a coup d'etat and a military dictatorship takes control of Argentina. Though never a part of Atilio's union efforts, Berta is on a list to be "disappeared" and flees to relatives in the countryside.  Read more...

 
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More About Departing at Dawn by Gloria Lise; Alice Weldon
 
 
 
Overview
March 23, 1976. Berta watches as her lover, Atilio, a union organizer, is thrown from a window to his death on the sidewalk below. The next day, Colonel Jorge Rafael Videla stages a coup d'etat and a military dictatorship takes control of Argentina. Though never a part of Atilio's union efforts, Berta is on a list to be "disappeared" and flees to relatives in the countryside. There she becomes part of the family she knows only from old photographs: Aunt Avelina, who blasts records from an old 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. When Berta learns that government officials are still looking for her, she realizes she must run even further to save her life.

Gloria Lise describes a terrifying period in her nation's history with a touch that is light yet penetrating. A powerful portrait of Argentinians caught up in traumas that have haunted the country ever since.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781558616035
  • ISBN-10: 1558616039
  • Publisher: Feminist Press
  • Publish Date: August 2009
  • Page Count: 175
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.5 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 34.
  • Review Date: 2009-06-15
  • Reviewer: Staff

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.” (Aug.)

 
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