genre testimonio

I, Rigoberta Menchu

A unique genre, this testimonio (or testimonial literature) re-scripts the history of Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan peasant woman who dictated her story to anthropologist Elisabeth Burgos-Debrayi. Testimonios can range from the most factually based to the most fictional. In this critically-acclaimed testimonio, the anthropologist may have altered/edited some of Menchú’s words to create a more coherent story and Menchú may not have been physically present for some events. However, this Nobel Peace Prize winning text vividly describes an indigenous woman activist, and this book is both her, and her community’s testimony.

"Now a global bestseller, the remarkable life of Rigoberta Menchú, a Guatemalan peasant woman, reflects on the experiences common to many Indian communities in Latin America. Menchú suffered gross injustice and hardship in her early life: her brother, father and mother were murdered by the Guatemalan military. She learned Spanish and turned to catechistic work as an expression of political revolt as well as religious commitment. Menchú vividly conveys the traditional beliefs of her community and her personal response to feminist and socialist ideas. Above all, these pages are illuminated by the enduring courage and passionate sense of justice of an extraordinary woman."

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