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I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman In Guatemala (1983)

by Rigoberta Menchú, Elisabeth Burgos-Debray (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,4092313,109 (3.56)37
Now a global bestseller, the remarkable life of Rigoberta Menchú, a Guatemalan peasant woman, reflects on the experiences common to many Indian communities in Latin America. Menchú suffered gross injustice and hardship in her early life: her brother, father and mother were murdered by the Guatemalan military. She learned Spanish and turned to catechistic work as an expression of political revolt as well as religious commitment. Menchú vividly conveys the traditional beliefs of her community and her personal response to feminist and socialist ideas. Above all, these pages are illuminated by the enduring courage and passionate sense of justice of an extraordinary woman.… (more)
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» See also 37 mentions

English (21)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Knowing about the testimony’s alleged inaccuracies made me read more critically than I would’ve otherwise. However many liberties may have been taken, the indigenous struggle in Guatemala is given voice here, and it can’t be denied that Menchú’s people have long suffered violence and injustice. Although the first-person narration gives Menchú ownership over her story (and mimics the intimate yet mutable nature of memory), a lot of the prose felt like a rambling soliloquy and jumped around too much. ( )
  jiyoungh | May 3, 2021 |
And that's when my consciousness was born"
By sally tarbox on 22 December 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
The autobiography of a young Guatemalan peasant woman who went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Menchu was an uneducated Indian girl, brought up between the family home, subsistence farming in the Altiplano, and the fincas (plantations), where the family would spend some months earning a little money in almost slave-like conditions.
Menchu's story took place from the 1960s to 80s; she tells of the very traditional Mayan lifestyle - its happiness and security but also the way Indians were dismissed by the Ladino (Spanish) population as almost a sub-species. Malnutrition, defrauding of the workers, and horrific accounts of peasants killed on the fincas by the indiscriminate use of pesticides, make for grim reading.
As government-backed landowners muscled in, trying to seize the Indians' lands, Menchu and her family got caught up in the peasant struggle for rights in a corrupt regime. Murders and violence became commonplace as the authorities tried to silence them...

Menchu has a powerful story to tell. Illiterate till adulthood, she narrates her account in interviews with an anthropologist. The result is an interesting autobiography, but one that would have been much more readable if given a literary touch. ( )
  starbox | Dec 21, 2017 |
Biography of a Guatemalan woman who suffered gross injustice.. She learned Spanish and turned to catechist work as an expression of political revolt as well as religious commitment.
  PendleHillLibrary | Feb 15, 2016 |
This was an interesting autobiography, or testimonial as Rigoberta calls it, but hard to read. The writing style is rather monotonous. In addition, the book is rather mired in controversy, ever since the publication of David Stoll's book: "Rigoberta Menchu and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans". In this book, Stoll refutes points out many inconsistencies in Menchu's story and refutes some the details she claims as part of her life story. Despite these issues, "I, Rigoberta Menchu", does tell the story of a indigenous people, who have systematically been ignored, marginalized, discriminated against, brutalized, and been the repeated victims of attempted genocide. And this is one story which the world should be listening too. ( )
  ThothJ | Dec 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Menchú, Rigobertaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burgos-Debray, ElisabethEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Allaert, FransTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Allaert, RafTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eyre, JustineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goldstein, MichèleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lethen, AndraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lohmann, IngerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mikkonen, AnitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oliveira, Lólio LourençoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pranzetti, LuisaPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riccio, AlessandraContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Opgedragen aan Alaide Foppa. In haar vaderland, Guatemala, vocht zij voor de mensenrechten en voor de rechten van de vrouw. Ze was dichteres en hield van de schilderkunst. Ze werd ontvoerd in Guatemala-stad op 19 december 1980 en is sindsdien spoorloos.
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My name is Rigoberta Menchu.
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Now a global bestseller, the remarkable life of Rigoberta Menchú, a Guatemalan peasant woman, reflects on the experiences common to many Indian communities in Latin America. Menchú suffered gross injustice and hardship in her early life: her brother, father and mother were murdered by the Guatemalan military. She learned Spanish and turned to catechistic work as an expression of political revolt as well as religious commitment. Menchú vividly conveys the traditional beliefs of her community and her personal response to feminist and socialist ideas. Above all, these pages are illuminated by the enduring courage and passionate sense of justice of an extraordinary woman.

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