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The vignetted format of this text sometimes expands into short stories and sometimes shrinks into prose-poems, but regardless of any section’s length, this book is always intimate, charming, and transportive. Galeano uses journalistic research, autobiographical anecdotes, and interviews to emphasize how there really is no distinction between the personal and the political. He writes of the military dictatorship in Uruguay that forced him into exile, an Italian pantomime performance that reminded him the importance of loving your craft, a pet guinea pig that’s too afraid to leave its cage, the Chilean government’s despoiling of Pablo Neruda’s home, the fantastic dreams of his wife, and a few hundred other vignettes that advocate for love, friendship, and determination. A powerful text that uplifts humanity in the face of state-sanctioned violence. Also, accompanying the vignettes are dozens of illustrations & collages done by the author.
“Galeano is a dangerous radical storyteller, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, like Isabel Allende, and like Pablo Neruda before them. . . . The Book of Embraces is a mosaic, or a Diego Rivera mural in words.”
― John Leonard, New York Newsday
“The factual skeleton of the author’s life is given flesh and blood in his strangely beautiful book, in which poetry, fiction, autobiography, history, fantasy and political commentary mingle and reinforce each other in unexpected ways”.–The New York Times Book Review.
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