Amatxi, Amuma, Amona: Writings in Honor of Basque Women

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Linda White, Cameron Watson
Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada, Reno, Dec 1, 2003 - Social Science - 183 pages
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This publication brings together eleven essays on Basque women--their personal and collective stories--from the Basque Country of Europe to Basque settlements in the American West, Latin America, and Australia. This diverse collection focuses on identity, specifically Basque identity, together with the contribution of these women to their communities and to the maintenance of their culture. As the introduction states, "Basque women have played strong, diverse roles within their cultures, both that of the Basque country and that of the Basque community spread throughout the world. The voices that have contributed to this volume pay homage to those roles in different ways. We begin with two works of fiction by Basque-American writers, each recounting a tale of childhood shaped by Basque grandmothers. The other writings are loosely arranged to carry us from fiction to personal recollection and finally to the purely academic."Martin Etchart's "Amatxi" captures a day of transition in the life of a thirteen-year-old Basque-American boy who learns about love and hope and the power of family while helping his grandmother prepare Easter dinner. Maria Davis Denzler's "Into the Dark" is a haunting, lyric tale of the presence of an owl who, by linking three generations of women -- grandmother, mother, and daughter -- provides a bridge between the past to the present as each woman feels the presence of the mysterious bird in her life. In "Basking in a Different Sun: The Story of Conchi Mendiolea," Bianka Vidonja Balanzategui brings to bear her personal knowledge of the migrant experience in North Queensland, Australia. Estibaliz Gastesi's "Emiliana de Zubeldia" traces the life and work of the Basquepianist and composer, demonstrating how Zubeldia maintained a strong Basque identity despite constantly traveling the world to play at the foremost concert venues. Rachel Bard's "Berengaria of Navarre: Medieval Role Model" attempts to rescue a little-known but important twelfth-century Basque female figure from the depths of history. Maggi Nicholson's "Becoming Basque: The Euskarapen of Raymonde and Claire Noblia" is the true story of a mother and daughter born in the northern Basque Country but not raised as Basques who only later in life make the commitment to embrace the Basque culture as their own. David Rmo's "Monique Laxalt: A Literary Interpreter for the New Generations of Basque-Americans" not only provides keen insight on Monique Laxalt but explores her intimate struggles with the different facets of her own identity. Gloria Pilar Totoricag]ena's "Interconnected Disconnectedness: How Diaspora Basque Women Maintain Ethnic Identity" offers a cross-continental analysis of how women of the Basque diaspora maintain their ethnic identity. In "EuskadiVenezuela: Natural Poetic Rapprochement," Maite Nzqez-Betelu considers the work of the exiled Basque poet Balendiqe Albizu from an ecofeminist perspective, looking at how Albizu employs nature in her poetry to challenge traditional male concepts of the world. In "The Tragedy of Yoyes," Cameron J. Watson traces the life and tragic death of one of the most enigmatic figures of recent Basque history--the ETA activist Marma Dolores Gonzalez Katarain (or "Yoyes"). Linda White's "Language, Love, and Lyricism: Basque Women Writers Urretabizkaia, Mintegi, and Oqederra" explores the work of three women writing in Euskara at different pointsthroughout the recent history of Basque literature.

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The Story of Conchi Mendiolea
Emiliana de Zubeldia

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About the author (2003)

Linda White spent fifteen years studying Euskara in preparation for delving into Basque literature in order to obtain a Ph.D. in Basque Studies (Language and Literature). She has been with the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno since 1981, during which time she co-authored the English-Basque Dictionary (1990) and the Basque-English English-Basque Dictionary (1992), both with Gorka Aulestia. She has also translated several books by and about Basques, co-edited various volumes of essays, and written many articles about Basque literature. She teaches Basque at the University of Nevada, Reno and is preparing a self-teaching textbook for English speakers who wish to learn the language but have no access to classroom instruction.

Cameron Watson has a Ph.D. in Basque Studies (History) from the University of Nevada, Reno. and was Assistant Professor of History there from 1996 to 1999. He currently teaches in the Basque Country, both at Mondragsn University and for the University Studies Abroad Consortium program at the University of the Basque Country. He also teaches an online class on modern Basque history for UNR's Independent Learning. His research interests include Basque and Iberian culture and history, Celtic identity and nationalism, modern European history and the impact of modernity on European society, nationalism and the construction of cultural identity, and ethnic conflict and political violence.