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[#LitWorld2018GB] My Literary Journey Has Taken Me To Uruguay’s Galeano

The Book Of Embraces by Eduardo Galeano

Myra here.

I learned about Eduardo Galeano from our featured poet a few years back, Professor Gemino Abad. While this book was gifted to me a year ago, it is only now that I have consumed it, which I feel is perfect timing since it fits our current reading theme perfectly.

Given how we are also hosting the Literary Voyage Around the World Reading Challenge, this is another book that has allowed me to travel to a heretofore-unknown country – Uruguay!

The Book Of Embraces

Written by Eduardo Galeano
Published by W. W. Norton and Company (1992 – first published 1989). Original Title: El libro de los abrazos
ISBN-10: 0393308553
ISBN-13: 9780393308556
Book was given to me as a gift. Book photos taken by me.

Eduardo Galeano is recognized as one of Uruguay’s foremost authors, along the lines of Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Colombia. He was born in Montevideo in Uruguay in 1940 and passed away in 2015. Wikipedia refers to him as the Literary Giant of the Latin American Left, and after reading this part-parable, part-memoir, part-strange-musings-about-class-struggles, part-manifesto, I could understand why.

The book consists of very brief vignettes that reflect Galeano’s observations about society, people, love, and life in general. What makes it even more special is that it contains Galeano’s art as well, indicating how multi-talented this giant of a man had been.

I am particularly moved by how he gave tribute to the power of voice and language, and how he used his remarkable skill in providing voice to the marginalized – those who are perceived as nobodies (see quotes below):

It took me awhile to finish reading this book – primarily because I did not want it to end. Each page was like a tasty morsel that nourished me to the core of my being, providing me with a certainty that I needed to hear. He possessed this no-nonsense manner of permeating artifice, stripping away its falsehood, revealing it in all its garish beauty, its loathsome reality, yet remaining luminous nonetheless.

Reading Galeano was like being given this hearty meal of beef pochero complete with chorizo, after being fed a steady diet of cotton candy or french fries. This, right here, is simply the real deal. Given the current state of the world today, with so many lunatics in positions of power, Galeano’s words filled me, providing me with the energy, clarity, and sustenance required to continue fighting the good fight. Find him. Read him.

#LitWorld2018GB Update: 23 of 40 Uruguay

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

2 comments on “[#LitWorld2018GB] My Literary Journey Has Taken Me To Uruguay’s Galeano

  1. Pingback: April 27th | Week in Review | Vamos a Leer

  2. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] Round Up of My Literary Journey and My Best in Books Across Quarterly Reading Themes – Gathering Books

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