Juana Manuela Gorriti: Our Native Land


Juana Manuela Gorriti: Our Native Land

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Juana Manuela Gorriti was one of the major literary figures in nineteenth century Latin America but her work remains almost unknown outside a narrow academic circle.

She was born into a wealthy family in Salta in the North of Argentina in 1818. Her father was a soldier who fought in Argentina’s War of Independence from Spain (1810-1818). As a Unitarian politician he later took up arms against Rosas and other Federalist leaders, leading to the family’s exile in Bolivia in 1831. 

In 1833, at the age of fifteen, Juana married Manuel Isidro Belzú, a captain in the Bolivian army who eventually became president of the Bolivian Republic, serving two separate terms. He survived an assassination attempt in 1850, but was eventually shot dead in the presidential palace – aptly named the Palacio Quemado – in January 1865. After a further long period of exile in Lima, Juana set up home in Buenos Aires, eventually returning to Salta in 1886. She died in 1892.

Our Native Land (La tierra natal) , her last major work, published in 1889, relates a physical journey through northern Argentina, back to the places where she had lived over the course of her lifetime, as well as a voyage back through her memories of the people and events she had known and experienced along the way. 

This unique journey through time is now available for the first time in English.

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Obra editada en el marco del “Programa Sur” de Apoyo a las Traducciones del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio Internacional y Culto de la República Argentina.

Work published within the framework of the “Programa Sur” Translation Support Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Culture of the Argentina Republic.