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Peruvian Rebel


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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations



1. Beginnings (1900-1919)

2. Entering the Vanguard (1920-1927)

3. First Exile (1927-1930)

4. In the APRA: The "Heroic Years" (1931-1944)

5. A Dream Disintegrates (1945-1957)

6. Later Years (1958-1989)

Selected Poems



Selected References


About the Author

Kathleen Weaver has translated four books from Spanish, including Omar Cabezas's Fire from the Mountain, with an introduction by Carlos Fuentes (1985), and Julio Cort zar's Nicaraguan Sketches, with her own introduction (1989). She also co-edited The Other Voice: Twentieth-Century Women's Poetry in Translation (1976) and The Penguin Book of Women Poets (1978).


"Drawing on extensive sources in the Benson Collection at the University of Texas, Kathleen Weaver draws a deft portrait of the Peruvian poet and political activist as a leader of the populist Aprista Party. The author casts Portal as an early Peruvian and Latin American feminist and highlights her struggle with the male-dominated APRA leadership to expand women's rights both within and outside the party. A worthy addition to mid-twentieth-century Peruviana."

--Peter Klaren, George Washington University

"General readers seeking acquaintance with Portal's life and times will find Weaver's book both useful and interesting."

--Pamela S. Murray, Hispanic American Historical Review

"Kathleen Weaver's biography of Magda Portal brings to life a woman too long lost from our histories--an extraordinary fighter for women's rights and social justice in Peru, as well as a gifted poet. She is one of the key figures in the twentieth-century struggles of oppressed people in Latin America, and her life story should inspire as well as educate readers of this fine biography."

--Howard Zinn, Boston University

"Weaver's translation of Portal's poems is superb, and the rich historical and contextual material gives the reader a vivid picture of APRA's goal of creating a new Peru that would bring the displaced and exploited indigenous peoples into full citizenship. Present, too, is the dream of creating a bonded Latin America. The book is a ground-level view of the hard choices Portal made in difficult circumstances, and it provides a glowing tapestry against which to read her brilliant poetry. The photos are contemporary, adding to the historical verity of the book. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of the struggles of peoples in any part of the world, of the Americas, and of the ways in which poetry is generated and expressed. It is a profound reading experience."

--Francesca Miller, author of Latin American Women and the Search for Social Justice

"This is a highly recommended biography of Magda Portal for audiences in the United States, Latin America, and Peru. Weaver's work pieces together diverse materials to provide a great picture of Portal's life course. This book brings to the fore a great political and feminist leader previously overlooked in Peruvian history."

--Erika Busse-Cardenas, International Feminist Journal of Politics

"In this exceptional book on Magda Portal, Weaver creates a rich tapestry of some of the most important Latin American intellectual and political activists from the first half of the twentieth century. In Portal's collaboration with such outstanding personalities as Vallejo, Haya de la Torre, Mari tegui, Vasconcelos, Rivera, or Modotti, the reader can recognize the contributions of this foundational figure--a true example of political activism and commitment in the avant-garde--to the cultural and political processes of APRA and more generally of the Latin American Left."

--Mihai Gr nfeld, Vassar College

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