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Malintzin's Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico (Diálogos) Paperback – September, 2006

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0826334053 ISBN-10: 0826334059 Edition: 1st

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Malintzin's Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico (Diálogos) + Latin America in Colonial Times + Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest
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Editorial Reviews

Review

.,."a meticulously researched narrative....Townsend repositions Malintzin with an even hand as a crucial personality and [places] her within the context of a string of historic and momentous episodes whose implications have not always been well understood....[Townsend] has crafted a volume that will make excellent reading for a wide, educated audience."

From the Inside Flap

The complicated life of the real woman who came to be known as La Malinche.

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Product Details

  • Series: Diálogos
  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; 1st edition (September 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826334059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826334053
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By K. Salmon on April 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
My definition of a "keeper" of a non-fiction book is one where I can read the notes like a seperate book; and don't need to read the notes to keep track of what the author has said. This book makes no attempt to find the historical "Malinche." Its focus is on the circumstances and historical knowledge we do have and how that would affect a person in her position.

Chock full of data; it suggested over 20 new books for me to add to my already extensive reading list. in addition, I solved two conundrums that had been nagging me for years and clarified where certain actions had taken place. I found, thanks to the clarity of the text a very important book written during the conquest years that had information I thought was not obtainable.

Camilla Townsends strictly academic approach and care in the use of non-english records deserves a very strong round of applause.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By hmf22 on November 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
"What I have tried to write," explains Camilla Townshend in the introduction, "is a book about contexts" (8). Malinche, or Malintzin, the Nahua girl who was given to Hernando Cortes as a slave and became his interpreter and mistress, is an elusive figure in the historical record; though many documents, paintings, and oral histories record her existence, few give insight into her motives or character. Often, Malintzin is depicted as victim or villain, rather than as an astute, resourceful woman making reasoned choices in sixteenth-century Mexico's complex and uncertain political landscape. Townshend focuses on reconstructing the parameters of the world in which Malintzin was raised, the likely trajectory of her life before she met Cortes, and the ways in which other people, indigenous and Spanish, responded to her. In doing so, she crafts a surprisingly detailed and insightful picture of Malintzin's life. Two final chapters on Malintzin's daughter and son depict the consolidation of Spanish rule and the place of mestizos in early Spanish Mexico. Once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down-- and that's an unusual response to have to a work as meticulously scholarly as this one. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Olive. on January 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
I absolutely love this book. I read it for a history class focusing on colonial Latin America--I read it in two days (I do not recommend this particular strategy, but I had no choice). Townsend flawlessly blends historical data and context with a somewhat hypothetical narrative, and gives voice to a woman that left no written record of her own life. This book is surprisingly powerful, moving, and when Townsend chooses to use poetic language to describe a particular setting or scene, the visuals she creates are spellbinding. I am not a history buff, and getting through historical texts generally takes a lot of work on my part. This book was a joy to read; I recommend it to anyone.
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