From Publishers Weekly
Much like Chilean poet Neruda's own glittering lyrics, his muse and widow Urrutia has penned a memoir that sparkles freshly with a love of family, nature and homeland. Memorialized by the Nobel laureate in his poems as "Rosario" and as the woman with Medusa-like hair, Urrutia was first glimpsed by Neruda at a concert in 1946, but it was three years before they met again, when she became his nurse as he was recovering from phlebitis. Neruda had to flee Chile because of his political views, and Urrutia soon joined him, inaugurating this famed literary romance. Sandwiched between accounts of Neruda's death shortly after the Pinochet coup in 1973 and her own persecution by the Chilean government are Urrutia's lyrical reminiscences of her love with Neruda. "Our easygoing, playful friendship, which we had considered to be at most simply mischievous, had just transformed into a complicated battle of emotions. Now our relationship would bring us... an abundance of joy, but it would also bring us grief and desperation." Urrutia draws strength from her husband's writings after his death as she faces her fears of remaining silent in the face of injustice. Her graceful prose offers not only a glimpse of her life with the great poet but also a portrait of the nobility of suffering under an unjust political regime. B&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In the midst of Pinochet's brutal 1973 military coup, Matilde Urrutia, poet Pablo Neruda's lover, wife, and muse, was left to mourn the great Nobel laureate, settle his disintegrated estate, hastily memorialize him in their looted Santiago home, and bury him under police watch. Having considered herself apolitical, Matilde suddenly understood Neruda's dedication to Chile, and drawing on hidden strength, she bravely preserved Neruda's legacy by smuggling his memoir out of the country. Here she offers her memoir, a loving and emotionally charged record that provides many heretofore missing pieces in the puzzle of Neruda's life. One only needs to read the intimate details of their first clandestine days together in Europe; their soulful, life-altering time in Switzerland and Capri; her heartbreaking miscarriages; and his poems reflecting these events, to understand the depth of their love. Given that it's the centenary of Neruda's birth, readers might wish for a tighter focus on the poet, but every intimate glimpse enhances our understanding and appreciation. Janet St. JohnCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved