Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is more than a suspenseful seafaring tale in the tradition of Captain Hornblower; it is also a chilling psychological and cultural tale, reminiscent of Heart of Darkness or Lord of the Flies, that probes deeply into human nature. Based on the true story of the Yámana Indian, Jemmy Button (parts of which are recorded in Chapter 10 of Charles Darwin's The Vo...more
Paperback, 285 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by Curbstone Books
(first published December 31st 1998)
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In an online course on historical fiction I took, one of the guest lecturers, Professor Gustavo Pellon from the University of Virginia, spoke passionately about this book in the context of the New Historical Novel in Latin and South America and its mission to re-think (and re-tell) national histories from multiple perspectives. In this vein, Sylvia Iparraguirre’s novel, set in Argentina, is a beautifully written and haunting account of the historical encounter between the captain and crew of the...more
A fascinating novel dealing with an obscure part of Argentine (or should I say British?) history: the seizing of the Falkland Islands and the intention of the British of colonizing the southernmost part of Patagonia. Sylvia Iparraguirre unearthed a wonderful real-life story of a Yamana indian taken to Britain to be civilized, and then taken back to Tierra del Fuego to act as a bridge between the two cultures, with disastrous consequences. Well-written, quick-paced... highly recommendable.
Sylvia Iparraguirre (born 1947) is an Argentine novelist and human rights activist. Her novel Tierra del Fuego: Una Biografia del Fin del Mundo won the 1999 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize for women writers in Spanish. It is a fictionalised account of the life of Jemmy Button.More about Sylvia Iparraguirre...