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Catalina by Markus Orths

Catalina (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Markus Orths

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361313,489 (3.83)1
Authors:Markus Orths
Info:Utrecht Signature 2006
Collections:Your library
Tags:17e eeuw, non, vrouwen, rolpatronen, geloof, Nieuwe Wereld, Amerika, ontdekkingsreizen, Spanje, travestie

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Catalina by Markus Orths (Author) (2005)


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Verhaal over een vrouw die zich verkleedt als man en zo op zoek gaat naar haar broer die naar de Nieuwe Wereld is vertrokken. De roman is geïnspireerd op de autobiografie van Catalina de Erauso. Onderhoudend verhaal dat ook een beeld geeft van het leven in de 17e eeuw (met een aantal vreemde gebruiken en ideeën). ( )
  Cromboek | Nov 19, 2012 |
The author, Markus Orths, together with his translator, Helen Atkins, has produced a fantastic book, which takes the reader on a wild ride through not just the life of its central character but also through a range of genres from its post-modernist style recourse to 17th century documents to the rather surrealist re-enactments of Catalina’s transforming birth process and on to educated and insightful asides.
A rollicking, captivating account of Catalina d'Erauso, a real-life 17th-century Spanish woman who went to the New World and lived as a man. Based on Catalina's own autobiography of her life as the "Lieutenant Nun," and other historical documents, German debut novelist Orths creates a thoroughly modern narrative filled with tangential tall tales and odd bits of history as Catalina renegotiates the territories of custom and gender.
German writer Orths's recounting of the miraculous and ribald life of the 17th-century Basque transvestite Catalina D'Erauso proceeds with all the manic, guileful momentum of a classic picaresque. [...] The author's and translator's enthusiasm for the material keeps nick-of-time escapes from becoming plot cheats, while tongue-in-cheek narration and action-packed episodes (Catalina has turns as a thief, soldier and cuckolder) feed the reader's urge to root for Catalina-as-Francisco.
Catalina is not depicted as friendless and incapable of love, but her ability to form intimate relationships with either men or women is hampered by fear that her true identity will be discovered. Yet the book remains largely unsentimental in tone, offering tinges of irony rather than focusing on loss. A fast-paced and fascinating exploration of gender and historical fiction, this book is recommended for larger public libraries and where interest in historic fiction is strong.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orths, MarkusAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Atkins, HelenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The town of San Sebastián, on the Bay of Biscay, produced a number of individuals who almost made it into the history books.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Could a girl born in seventeenth century Spain ever become anything other than what is expected of her? Could she become, of all things, a man? One extraordinary woman could, and did.

CATALINA is the true story of Catalina de Erauso, born in San Sebastian on a glorious day of sun and rain. Her brother Miguel, ten years her senior and fiercely loved by Catalina, is sent to the New World to see to the family’s fortunes. When Miguel takes his leave from his family forever and sets out for the silver mines of Potosi, the richest town in South America, Catalina has only one wish: to follow him.
As a girl, she is separated from him forever. As a girl, she must accept her fate passively – but she does not. She begins her obsessive quest by pretending religious devotion so as to earn her education as a nun. And then, one day, she leaves the convent. She cuts her hair. She dresses in men's clothing. She deepens her voice. She becomes Francisco. And her new identity, crafted in darkness and determination, is internalized so much that she convinces not only everyone around her—including her lovers—but eventually even herself. Her path leads her from San Sebastian to New Spain, Chile and Peru and is the breathtaking and extraordinary true story of a despairing quest for the other – and for one's self.

Markus Orths, author of the bestseller LEHRERZIMMER (Staff Room), is at the peak of his story-telling talent with CATALINA: an extremely exciting and absorbing major novel.
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"Catalina is the story of Catalina d'Erauso, the 'Lieutenant Nun'. When Catalina's beloved older brother Miguel is sent to the New World to see to the family's fortunes, Catalina has only one wish: to follow him. She begins her quest by earning her education in a convent. And then, one day, she leaves. She cuts her hair, dresses in men's clothing, and becomes Francisco. Catalina develops and internalizes her new identity as a man so thoroughly that she convinces not only everyone around her - including her lovers - but eventually even herself. Her path leads her from San Sebastian to New Spain, Chile and Peru. It is the story of a despairing quest for the other - and for one's self."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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