Translated Woman: Crossing The Border With Esperanza's Story
Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza's Story
Translated Woman tells the story of an unforgettable encounter between Ruth Behar, a Cuban-American feminist anthropologist, and Esperanza Hernández, a Mexican street peddler. The tale of Esperanza's extraordinary life yields unexpected and profound reflections on the mutual desires that bind together anthropologists and their "subjects."
When Cuban American anthropologist Ruth Behar tried to piece together the lives led by women in one Mexican village, she didn't reckon on the stubborn magnetism of Esperanza, who "seemed determined to push her story into my hands and stuff it into my ears, so I could take it back across the border." Translated Woman is a giddy rush of dramatic words from Esperanza herself talking late into the night about the hardships and triumphs of her life. Having barely fled the wrath of her drunken father, she takes up with a philandering wife-beater who keeps her in the Mexican version of purdah, complete with a scolding mother-in-law. Looming starvation and the loss of child after child, which she ascribes to the coraje (rage) her worthless husband riles up in her breast, impels her to leave him. Gradually she carves out enough...