Uncertain Travelers: Conversations with Jewish Women Immigrants to America by Marjorie Agosin
Over a three-year period, award-winning Chilean poet and human rights activist Marjorie Agosín interviewed nine Jewish women immigrants who arrived in the US from Europe and Latin America between 1939 and the 1970s. Some came as children, others as adults; some were well-off, others refugees. These conversations reveal diverse experiences of exile as well as multiple attitudes toward North American politics, people, and culture. "What I found most amazing as I grew to know these women," Agosín writes, "was that despite such profound differences, we all shared something greater: the experience of exile and the quality of being foreign." Arranged chronologically, with the older women speaking first, each conversation opens with a short introduction that provides context for each woman's life. These uncertain travelers -- so named to highlight the possibility and difficulty of their journeys -- discuss food, friendship, work, language, writing, anti-semitism, and politics, in familiar language. Angry, affecting, and disturbing, the conversations unfold as they do in life, inviting the reader to share an extended meditation on how writing, speaking, and memory join to restore a personal and collective past.