Tag Archive: margarita drago


Editorial Campana is pleased to announce the first event for MARCH 2009.  In Celebration of International Women’s Month with Margarita DragoJacqueline Herranz BrooksSonia Rivera Valdés(Casa de las Américas Award winner) and  Paquita Suárez Coalla.  The authors will read from their new works and chat with the audience. The event will take place Thursday March 5th, 8:00 p.m. at Librería Caliope, NY. PLease visit editorialcampana.com for more information and for directions.

 

 

 

Margarita Drago’s book, Memory Tracks: Fragments from Prison (1975-1980), which is available in English and Spanish is an inspirational book. Why? despite being held behind bars, imprisoned, and having to deal with many horrible events, the book is as alive as the author. The horrific and dramatic events that Margarita witnessed and encountered did not deter Margarita from bringing her to the public and especially from being held captive behind bars. . The only unfortunate thing is that Margarita had to secretly hide her stories and her writing in order to make sure that her story became available to anybody who would want to read them. Unlike Margarita, many prisoners today have the ability to write while they are locked away, without having to write in secret. The PEN Prison Writing program is one that 

“believes in the restorative and rehabilitative power of writing, by providing hundreds of inmates across the country with skilled writing teachers and audiences for their work.”

Since this and similar programs have been developed and put into practice, many individuals have had the opportunity to write. Writing and the ability to do so should be available to anybody who shows interest in doing so.

Although there were many contributing factors as to why Margarita had to hide her writing (being a political female prisoner being a major one), there is no reason anybody should be deprived the ability to write. We owe much thanks to the publication of Memory Tracks: Fragments from Prison (1975-1980). This book is one of the many examples of what Editorial Campana is all about.

Read an EXCERPT OF MEMORY TRACKS: FRAGMENTS FROM PRISON (1975-1980) and an interview.

 

 presents Sonia Rivera Valdés’ latest book

available in English and Spanish

 Editorial Campana presenta el más reciente libro de Sonia Rivera Valdés

disponible en versiones en español e inglés

The books can be bought through Editorial Campana , Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Following the success of her bestselling first book (Casa de las Américas award, 1997), Sonia Rivera Valdés continues the saga in Stories of Little Women and Grown-Up Girls, where characters and narrations intertwine and whirl. The tragic death of Ana, a writer’s sexual adventures in Cuba, and the erotic incidents involving a music professor and her student’s fiancee. Love, death, betrayal and sex…these stories rise and fall on waves of humor and surprise, and drop us deep into lives that maintain their centers and strength, regardless of crumbling worlds around them.

 Historias de mujeres grandes y chiquitas de Sonia Rivera Valdés (Premio Casa de las Américas, 1997) es un libro donde los personajes y las narraciones se suceden incesantemente: la trágica muerte de Ana, los enlaces eróticos de una profesora de música con el novio de una estudiante y las aventuras sexuales de una escritora en Cuba. Con un excelente sentido del humor, con el elemento sorpresa atravesando cada relato y con la oralidad marcando cada texto, las escenas contadas harán que el lector se involucre mientras las escucha.

 

 Praise For Sonia Rivera Valdés’ Work

 

 Sonia Rivera Valdés is a transgressor in different spheres and has found a strange internal peace in her writing exercise which incessantly, and sheltered by the parasol of tolerance, is at the service of an infinite number of noble causes. Her minimalist style speaks about extremely crude realities in a clear and inimitable language. This is a captivating, unforgettable book.

–Nancy Morejón, winner of Cuba’s National Prize for Literature, 2001

 Sonia Rivera Valdés has an uncannily intense way of inhabiting the souls of her characters. Their predicaments are usually irresolvable, but then so is life, and it is her allegiance to the texture of life that makes her work so remarkably vivid. These bitterly exuberant, sweetly regretful, very sad and fierce and beautiful stories will haunt you for a long time.

–Paul Russell, author of War Against the Animals

 The mad, the curious, the inexplicable in human behavior-that which is not sanctioned by society-are the pivotal points in Sonia Rivera-Valdés’s narratives. Her characters live fully, without missteps, precisely because the author has turned the tables on propriety.

–Zaida Capote Cruz, Institute of Literature and Linguistics, Havana, Cuba

 Sonia Rivera Valdés presents a prose that is unconstrained, daring, reminiscent of Anaïs Nin.

    –Oh! Magazine

 Vastly entertaining, slyly heretical, and probably the most important book of stories since Joyce’s Dubliners.

–William Monahan, author of Light House

 This work promises to be revelatory.

–Library Journal

The book alternates between tears and an ironic smile…We cry with the prisoner in “Like in Jail” and we laugh satisfied (especially women) with the lesson the cello professor gives her accommodating lover in “The Eighth Fold”.             

–Hoy, newspaper (New York)

 The stories of women that Sonia Rivera Valdés presents keep this writer among the Hispanic talents who place the literary work of Latino writers of this city in the top echelon of originality, talent, and sincerity.

–Siempre (New York)

 With the particular charm of characters that could be any neighbor in El Barrio, and the attractive turbulence of some stories that capture the attention and teach in endearing ways, Sonia Rivera Valdés performs a service to literature, to the elastic gay-lesbian-queer community of the Hispanic world, to groups discriminated against or marginalized by local supremacies, and to all of us who believe in the dignity of the human being and in the value of differences.

–Susana Reisz, Lehman College, Contemporary Latin American Literature

 Rivera Valdés has set out to search for a language, for a kind of writing, that would subvert the model, and along the way has created believable and functional characters, narrators, and narrations. She resorts to irony and parody when needed to enhance meaning, but above she all has avoided the deceptive reflection of the stereotypical and untruthfully Caribbean. She has neither trivialized the narrative voice, that of her characters, nor that of the author herself, and has succeeded in not letting the model die behind the mask of a fictitious construct labelled “caribbeanism”.

 –Alicia Perdomo, literary critic

 Sonia is at war with the traditional and still dominant forms with which feminine subjectivity is represented in a patriarchal culture. Her alliance with emerging forms of the feminine (the nomad, the mestiza…) converts her into the traveling companion of many other creators and thinkers that, through history, literature, the visual arts, philosophy or political activism, are tracing a radically new map of the world of women.

–Marta Sofía López, Universidad de León, Spain

 The stories are constructed by an image that destabilizes all attempts at clear and precise definition; their aesthetic conspires against all processes of institutionalization or naturalization of accepted limits…What characterizes these stories are not their stereotypical nature, but rather their constant crossing of the lines of accepted codes, their insistent questioning of the limits imposed by stereotypes.

–Emilio Bejel, Professor & Chair, Department of Spanish & Classics

University of California

 I sat on the bed to listen to myself with a book as interlocutor. At around page fifty, tears surprised me, and I gave myself over to the accumulated pain…Thank you for Stories of Little Women and Grown-Up Girls.

–Anna Chover, Professor, Valencia University, Spain

 When I finished reading Stories of Little Women and Grown-Up Girls I remembered what Luce Irigaray said about eastern philosophy because these stories are exactly the opposite. Instead of formulating the real, removing it from concrete experience, her writing makes us stronger and wiser, more able to face life itself.

–Margarita Drago, author of Memory Tracks: Fragments From Prison (1975-1980)

 The book is a kind of emotional x-ray of a series of women who, in trying to accommodate as much as possible both their lives and their desires, reflect on the stories that have touched them, the ones they have chosen, lived, and faced without fear and that until now have  been their destiny.

 –Paquita Suárez Coalla, author of So I Won’t Forget

 

 

 

 

Margarita Drago provides her testimony of being imprisoned during the military dictatorship of Argentina in the 1970’s through a series of talks in Puerto Rico

New York, N.Y., April 21, 2008–Margarita Drago was arrested at her house in Rosario during the military dictatorship that ravaged Argentina from the middle of the seventies until 1983. She was accused of political crimes and was imprisoned for 5 years, with no right to a legal defense. In Drago’s first memoir since she got out almost thirty years ago, she recounts being terrorized, witness and victim of multiple interrogations, tortures and rapes. The book, titled Memory Tracks: Fragments From Prison (1975-1980) (Editorial Campana, September 2007) was published simultaneously with it’s original Spanish version Fragmentos de la memoria: Recuerdos de una experiencia carcelaria (1975-1980). “When I got out of jail in September, 1980, one idea drove me: to denounce the crimes and violations of the military dictatorship, and to provide testimony to the resistance of the Argentine political prisoners in the cells of the regime,” Drago said in an interview in May, 2007.

Despite their horrific situation, Drago and her fellow prisoners focused on compassion, hope, encouragement, and further resistance. They told stories and recited poetry. They collected bread crusts and sugar from their rations to make special desserts. They even began a subversive newspaper, printed on cigarette wrappers and smuggled to the outside. “Amidst the precariousness, we led an organized life of clandestine work and study. We did it all because we were convinced that jail wasn’t a parenthesis in our lives, but rather a space of resistance to the dictatorship,” she stated. Drago’s opposition landed her in solitary confinement then, and it still persists in her now. She remains a marginal writer because she refuses censorship.

Just last month, Margarita Drago participated in a series of talks about her book from March 3-8, 2008 in Puerto Rico, organized by El Comité Pro Derechos Humanos de Puerto Rico (The Puerto Rican Committee for Human Rights) and La Comisión de la Mujer del Colegio de Abogados (The Women’s Commission of the School of Lawyers). The series of events that took place were, in part, to commemorate El Día Internacional de la Mujer Trabajadora (International Working Woman’s Day). Drago not only sets one of the strongest examples of a woman’s courage and strength, she also wishes to “emphasize the role of women as political leaders, and exalt the determined way in which they offered themselves to the revolutionary cause.” And she believes “in terms of gender, these stories greatly contribute to the affirmation of women’s outstanding role during one of the darkest periods of Argentine history.”

Read the full interview here: http://www.editorialcampana.com/HTMLeng/interviews/MargaritaD_1.html