HERE"S - Here's To You, Jesusa! chronicles the life of...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Here's To You, Jesusa! chronicles the life of Jesusa, a tough, argumentative, spirited, and pragmatic Mexican women who was a young adult during the Revolution. The book is in her voice, and she goes from one ordeal to the other, always managing to come out on top, no matter how challenging. She is very poor and doesn't settle down anywhere for long, so the book skips around quite a bit. This made it hard to read-- it didn't hold together very well for me, and I skimmed through some of it, and eventually stopped reading with 70 pages left. I understand that Poniatowska was trying to capture an authentic poor Mexican woman's voice, but I would have like a bit more self examination into how all these events shaped the woman Jesusa was. (For example, the death of her mother when she was young, her father inability to stay in one place for long, an abusive step-mother.) It's all descriptive, but not much more. The book starts out with a forward by the middle class woman who supposedly finds Jesusa somehow and then spends years interviewing her and learning her story, and who then writes a book about her life. I loved this part and would have liked to see more interplay between the "author" voice and Jesusa. It's about a poor woman who lived in hard times, accompanying her soldier husband to the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1917. The war in the north of Mexico is terrible. They have accumulated some money and he sends her to Mexico City with a suitcase full of cash. When she arrives in the city, the money has disappeared and she walks the streets until she can find a job as a servant. Elena Poniatoska gives voice to the voiceless; in Here's to You, Jesusa! she captures the experiences of Jesusa Palencares -- an impoverished Mexican woman, formerly a soldera married to an important Mexican revolutionary, and throughout her life tough as nails -- in Jesusa's own words. Do not confuse what she has done, here, with what ghost writers have done for Sarah Palin, Laura Bush and a number of other well-knowns whose memoirs are refined by a literary hand. Like Cuba's Miguel Barnet, Poniatowska is a collector of historical testimony. She dares us to read Jesusa's reflections and declare them any less authoritative or valuable than the historical records collected in textbooks. (Whether "Jesusa Palencares" or "Elena Poniatowska" should be credited as "author" is a debate I'll let more qualified people undertake.) In the past couple years I've read more than I would ever have wanted about the
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 08/27/2011 for the course HIS 352L taught by Professor Matthew during the Summer '11 term at University of Texas at Austin.

Page1 / 4

HERE"S - Here's To You, Jesusa! chronicles the life of...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online