PARACUELLOS: CHILDREN OF THE DEFEATED IN FRANCO'S FASCIST SPAIN -- heartbreaking stories filled with humanity, humor, and courage
Paracuellos: Children of the Defeated In Franco's Fascist Spain by Carlos Gimenez (2016, IDW Publishing; 136 pages)
This book is a graphic memoir that touches souls, especially the souls of those of us born in Spain.
Though Carlos Giménez´s autobiographical account of the plight of children in post-World War II Fascist Spain is filled with humor, it is often heartbreaking to read. One needs to be committed to learn about the darkest of history or have a historical curiosity for some of the most crucial times in our contemporary era in order to dive into this memoir and navigate the numerous dark vignettes. If the reader is, he or she will probably enjoy a book that has won virtually every comics award in Europe, including Best Album at the 1981 Angouleme Festival.
Carlos Giménez has written a work of great honesty and courage, created at a time when telling the truth about Spain’s political past could get one killed. As a matter of fact, the publication of this graphic memoir generated constant death threats from right-wing groups.
Paracuellos includes a beautiful foreword by Will Eisner, editor´s note by Dean Mullaney, and a chapter on The National Works of Social Aid, by Antonio Martin.
“Carlos Giménez uses his mastery of the comic strip medium to create a new paradigm that establishes a dialogue between history and memory, and coverts it into a demand for moral justice.¨ -From the Afterword by Carmen Moreno-Nuño, University of Kentucky.
Recommended for those with an interest in the history of Spain, or the art of Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman. Also for those who are not afraid to learn about the horrors brought by dictatorships.
Find this title in our catalog: Paracuellos
Recommended by: Maite
RADICAL HOPE: LETTERS OF LOVE AND DISSENT IN DANGEROUS TIMES -- a kaleidoscopic view of the love and courage needed to navigate this time of upheaval, uncertainty, and fear
Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times, Edited by Carolina De Robertis (2017, Vintage; 272 pages)
Carolina de Robertis, the editor of this fabulous collection of letters of love and dissent in dangerous times, is an award-winning author of novels like The Gods of Tango, Perla, and The Invisible Mountain. She is also a longtime activist who spent ten years in the nonprofit sector before publishing her first book. During that time she led projects concerning issues like women's rights, immigrant rights, and addressing sexual violence. It is my opinion that her experience as an advocate for human rights illuminated the way to bring together journalists, poets, leading novelists and political thinkers to create a compendium of radical hope.
For many, this time we are living in is defined by despair, tumult and danger. De Robertis decided to explore the idea of forming a body of epistolary essays, or essays in letter form, as a way to build up a collective mirror of what makes the American society strong and beautiful. Those who agreed to participate did so in a radically honest, brave, and bold way. They practice the exercise of taking notice and measure of what's been lost with the shift this country has gone through, or is going through, what's changed and what hasn't. They also offer their perceptions on where we are now, and what this means in both a personal and intimate way and also a societal one.
The book is really a manifesto. It is divided into three sections that follow three big questions. The first section is compiled under the name “Roots,” and explores the histories that bring the American society to the present moment. There the reader will find many letters addressed to ancestors, for example. The second section is the epistolary correspondence that belongs to “Branches,” and it brings essays about present-day people or communities, from Baby Boomers to the protestors at Standing Rock. It is one of my favorite parts of the manifesto, because it dives into complex questions of our current era. The last section is called “Seeds,” and its radical hope sustains the future through words to new generations, daughters and sons, imagined children yet to be born, inheritors of what is happening now.
The reader is lucky. The names of contributors willing to offer their words as a beacon, balm, compass, and power source are big: Achy Obejas, Alicia Garza, Aya de León, Boris Fishman, Carolina De Robertis, Celeste Ng, Cherríe Moraga, Chip Livingston, Claire Messud, Cristina García, Elmaz Abinader, Faith Adiele, Francisco Goldman, Hari Kunzru, iO Tillett Wright, Jane Smiley, Jeff Chang, Jewelle Gomez, Junot Díaz, Karen Joy Fowler, Kate Schatz, Katie Kitamura, Lisa See, Luis Alberto Urrea, Meredith Russo, Mohja Kahf, Mona Eltahawy, Parnaz Foroutan, Peter Orner, Reyna Grande, Roxana Robinson, and Viet Thanh Nguyen.
Radical Hope is a must read for those who are wading through waves of despair and need to hold onto love, courage, and company to navigating this time of uncertainty
Find this title in our catalog: Radical Hope
Recommended by: Maite