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Malinche's Conquest

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  105 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Malinche was the Amerindian translator for Hernán Cortés—from her lips came the words that triggered the downfall of the great Aztec Emperor Moctezuma in the Spanish Conquest of 1521. In Mexico, Malinche’s name is synonymous with “traitor,” yet folklore and legend still celebrate her mystique. The author traverses Mexico and delves into the country’s extraordinary past to ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Allen & Unwin (first published 1999)
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3.5 stars -- it felt like a stretch for Lanyon to write as much as she did. This material would have made a great long journal or magazine article. People looking for a traditional biography will be disappointed, through no fault of the author -- there just isn't much information surviving about Malinche. But for people with interests in the challenges of studying historical figures who left few traces behind, as well as for those interested in the intersections of history and myth (and oral tra ...more
Jan 07, 2015 Moloch rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Moloch by: Articolo Corsera (non su questo libro in particolare, ma sulla figura storica di cui da allora mi sono interessata)
8 marzo, invece di andare a vedere lo spogliarello maschile ho deciso di iniziare la biografia di una celebre donna della storia, “celebre” e allo stesso tempo anche “misteriosa”: Malinche, la donna maya che fu interprete e amante di Hernán Cortés durante la sua conquista del Messico.

Non propriamente su questo libro ma sulla figura di Malinche lessi questo articolo su un Corriere della Sera di qualche anno fa che mi interessò all’argomento, mentre questo
Jul 31, 2014 April rated it it was amazing
Malinche was an Amerindian woman given to Cortes as a slave. She became his translator to Moctezuma, the ruler of the Aztec Empire, which led to their downfall as part of the Conquest. She is reviled as a traitor to this day. Author Anna Lanyon travels Mexico and pores over historical accounts to piece together who Malinche was and what her true story is. She raises some important questions, including: Why is Malinche portrayed as a Jezebel who seduced Cortes when she was given to him as a slave ...more
Jan 24, 2010 Shawna rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
How do you honor a rape that spawned a nation? This is the essential question of Lanyon's research of the mysterious Amerindian woman who served as Cortez's intrepeter as he met Montezuma and later bore him a son, one of the first mestizos in "New Spain." Vilified by some as a traitor to her people, I have been fascinated by the story of Malinche, since I first read about it in Octavio Paz's essay "The Sons of Malinche" which explores (one facet) of the modern hispanic male identity, that holds ...more
Jun 23, 2016 Florenceg rated it really liked it
Shelves: histoire, biographies
Il s'agit plus d'un essai sur le personnage de Malinche que d'une biographie au sens propre. La lecture est agréable: on suit pas à pas le trajet parcouru par la chercheuse australienne, ainsi que ses sentiments personnels, qui tente d'approcher la réalité historique du personnage. L'aspect émotionnel est fort dans le livre. Elle étudie aussi l'aspect historiographique de Malinche. J'ai trouvé ce livre intéressant bien que les documents historiques nous renseignant sur cette femme soient très pa ...more
Apr 21, 2012 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: history, aztecs, biography
I picked up this book because I thought it was a historical fiction novel about the Aztec woman who interpreted for Cortez, Malinche. Instead, this was a non-fiction account of a writer's journey through Mexico, searching for any snippets of truth that were recorded about Malinche and how they do or do not coincide with her legend. I was interested in the difference between how full-blooded Spanish Mexicans, so-called mestizos, and full native Mexicans view Malinche - surprisingly, the full nati ...more
Jan 04, 2008 Jackie rated it it was amazing
Although not an anthropologist, Lanyon approaches her search for Malinche using ethnographic methods, including interviews with local peoples and researching historical documents. She travels the Mayan countryside exploring long forgotten, hidden cities that may or may not have figured prominently in Malinche's pre-Cortes history. She takes time to listen to folk tales and analyzes these for the possible truths they may be. With a couple of informants, she could spend a little more time intervie ...more
Allison Hepler
Malinche, the Indian woman who was Cortes's interpreter and bore him a child, only to die less than 10 years after Cortes arrived on the shore of Mexico. The author follows all signs of Malinche, whose name has come to be synonymous with "traitor" and with "treasonous behavior." Yet, so little has been left of her in any official records, so Lanyon follows clues such as a river named for her, a volcanic mountain, and even a school that, 500 years earlier, was her home, and probably where she die ...more
Aug 01, 2014 Maria rated it liked it
Great overview of the little we know about Malinche.
Feb 16, 2008 Devin rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Author tries to piece together the compelling story of La Malinche. A young Indian girl sold by her parents as a slave to Cortez's she eventually became his, lover, translator, chief advisor and partner in the conquest and destruction of her own people. Although she is considered the arch villian of Mexican history one can not help but feel sympathy and even admiration for her making the best of the impossible situation she was forced into.
Jul 18, 2015 MJ rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-summer
the beginning was a little too "let me compare my personal journey of researching this person to this person's life" for me, something I really dislike in biographies. but considering the little information there actually is on Maliche's origins I understood that it was just to fill space. the parts on the conquest and Malinche's descendants at the end were much more thorough and interesting to read about, so it did improve!
Aug 04, 2012 Forrest rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Well written as both a history and a travel book. In other words, the author traveled to the places in Mexico and then wrote about the history connecting Malinche to the places she was visiting.
Ron Christiansen
Oct 01, 2011 Ron Christiansen is currently reading it
A book my father-in-law has talked about for years; picked up his copy when working through the books he left at his house in Idaho. It's good so far--now if I could find some time to read it.
David Rochelero Spanish-English Translator
Really, it deserves a couple more stars! This is the book that sparked my interest in Malintzín...I read it in one afternoon and evening. I just could not put it down!...^_^
Sep 06, 2015 Colin rated it it was amazing
A beautiful essay, and travelogue. Here is a vivid tale of the conquest of Mexico, and a meditation on that famous phrase: traduttore, tradittore.
Jul 19, 2007 Steph rated it really liked it
Very interesting look into the life and legacy of Malinali who became known in Mexican history as Malinche.
Feb 03, 2009 Patricia rated it really liked it
Great narrative about finding the history in myth.
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