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On the Edge of the Holocaust
The Shoah in Latin American Literature and Culture
Edna Aizenberg

2015 • 200 pp. 19 illus. 6 x 9"
Literary Criticism - Caribbean & Latin American / Holocaust Studies / Jewish Studies

$40.00 Paperback, 978-1-61168-856-6
$85.00 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-855-9

$34.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-857-3

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Hardcover is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)

“This is a valuable contribution to Latin American and Holocaust studies, and a useful, recommended addition to Judaica collections in academic and high school libraries.” —Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

Sheds new light on the views and attitudes of Latin American writers during the Nazi era

In this bold study, Edna Aizenberg offers a much-needed corrective to both Latin American literary scholarship and popular assumptions that the whole of Latin America served as a Nazi refuge both during and after World War II. Analyzing the treatment of the Shoah by five leading figures in Argentine, Brazilian, and Chilean writing—Alberto Gerchunoff, Clarice Lispector, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriela Mistral, and Joao Guimaraes Rosa—Aizenberg illuminates how Latin American intellectuals engaged with the horrific information that reached them regarding the Holocaust, including the sympathy and collaboration of their own governments with the Nazis.

Aizenberg emphasizes how—through fiction, journalism, and activism—these five culture-makers opposed and fought fascism. At the same time, her readings of individual texts confront shopworn clichés about Latin American writing and literature, suggesting deeper and richer dimensions to many canonical works. This interdisciplinary book fills critical gaps in both Holocaust and Latin American studies, and will be of great interest to scholars and students in both fields.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

"Edna Aizenberg's solid scholarship and close readings provide new understandings of major Latin American writers, as well as an antidote to misconceptions about Latin American culture."—Holocaust and Genocide Studies

"Aizenberg’s goals of filling a void in the studies of the Shoah and Latin America, as well as redeeming the work of several important Latin American intellectuals during and after the Holocaust, are definitely achieved in this book.”

Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature

“Inspiring. . . . the book is very topical when evoking the commitment of literati and intellectuals in difficult times.”

“Aizenberg doesn’t have to turn these writers into 1960s-70s-style Latin American revolutionary resistant voices to show how they were deeply imbricated in a major sociohistoric event of their day that had both international and Latin American repercussions. Throughout, Aizenberg engages in close textual reading, supported by impeccable documentation and a firm hand on expository style. This is a work of major scholarly significance, and it constitutes a major scholarly contribution.”—
Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas

“Exciting, eye-opening . . . Edna Aizenberg’s book breaks new ground in the field of Jewish studies and fills a void that many often discuss, but few have dared to undertake.”—Alejandro Meter, University of San Diego

“Casting new light on the views and attitudes of Latin American writers during the Nazi era, Aizenberg’s work is a major contribution in correcting a distorted view of Latin America . . . and serves as a testimony to the courage and moral values of these writers, a recognition they fully deserve.”—Malva E. Filer, Brooklyn College


Runner-up for the Best Book in Latin American Jewish Studies

EDNA AIZENBERG is professor emeritus of Hispanic studies at Marymount Manhattan College in New York. An internationally recognized scholar of Borges, she is the author of Books and Bombs in Buenos Aires: Borges, Gerchunoff, and Argentine Jewish Writing.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:28 -0500