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My Name is Victoria: The Extraordinary Story of one Woman's Struggle to Reclaim her True Identity Paperback – October 18, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Other Press (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590514041
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590514047
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #658,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A compelling memoir by an Argentine writer who discovers that her mother was killed by the brutal military dictatorship—and that the man she thought was her father was part of the regime.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“Donda deftly leads readers through Argentina’s Byzantine history of guerrilla groups, dictatorships, coups and military policies, providing a solid foundation for understanding the political and social upheavals underpinning her story…Donda’s captivating account of her surreal role in pulling back the curtain on one of the darkest periods of Argentine history merits a wide readership.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A powerful story of a woman who defies all odds and learns her true identity, and succeeds. Victoria Donda’s journey to claim her identity is exemplary, and refreshing. She represents a generational change and promise for Argentina. I highly recommend this book. You will come out stronger and full of optimism about life. The narrative is spellbinding.” —David Cox, CNN journalist, author of Dirty Secrets, Dirty War and Unveiling the Enigma: Who Stole the Hands of Juan Peron
 
“This extraordinary book is a gift from the generous heart and bright intellect of Victoria Donda, who was the 78th grandchild identified by the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo. Victoria’s triumph is to take us to the core of her resilience–her determination to fight for her dignity and her identity, while she leads the reader through the maze of Argentine politics and history. Empowered and empowering, My Name is Victoria sheds light on our quest to recover from a collective tragedy, to resist destruction at the hands of the powerful, to keep loving when an avalanche of hatred threatens our sanity.” —Alicia Partnoy, author of The Little School: Tales of Disappearance and Survival

About the Author

Victoria Donda is a human rights activist and legislator. She is the first daughter of a disappeared person, born in captivity, to become a member of the Argentine National Congress. She is also the youngest woman to hold that office.
 
Magda Bogin is a novelist, translator, and journalist. She is the author of Natalya, God’s Messenger, and The Women Troubadours, and has published numerous translations, including House of the Spirits. Fluent in Spanish, English, French, Italian, and Russian, she is the founder and director of Under the Volcano.
 

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By nikki morgan on August 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Identity is a strange thing. We grow up with a certain set of immutable "givens"; our parents, our family, our place in the scheme of things, the historical bases of our beliefs, yet, sometimes things we think and feel seem to come from another place and reconciling them is an arduous process. For most of us, certain of the pillars of our lives we can understand; our intellectual evolution as an amalgam of what came before us internally plus the external influences that have affected us over our years.

To imagine that sense of certainty shattered is overwhelmingly daunting. To find the deepest aspects of one's being running so counter to all that came before can be distressing yet understandable in the context of changing times and external pressures. Then to learn that all that was immutable in one's life was anything but.....that's what Victoria (Analia) recounts in her amazingly moving memoir.

As a prelude to a trip to Argentina and Chile (both countries still coming to terms with the aftermath of brutal dictatorships) in a few months this book was suggested. Victoria intertwines her personal story with the last 30+ years of Argentine history for a compelling look at absolute horror and inhumanity juxtaposed with familial love that was created via that inhuman horror of the actions of the dictatorship. How to reconcile all that and come to terms with who she was, what were her beginnings and who she is now makes for a magnificent read.

As a kidnapped baby of murdered desaparecidos (the tens of thousands of political prisoners brutally tortured and murdered by the dictatorship) she grew up in a loving middle class family, ignorant of her background and of her "parents" complicit role.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paige MacGregor on June 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written, an enjoyable read! If you're interested in learning about the history of The Disappeared in Argentina, this is a great place to start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Denny on May 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
Argentine politics for most of the 20th century was byzantine, characterized by wild swings in government between rightists and leftists. Right-wing coups, left-wing dictatorships, take-overs by military junta, political radicalization, repressive crackdowns on personal liberties, personality cults, (most notably Juan Peron and Eva Peron), to name a few. It's no wonder that most Americans don't have much understanding of Argentina, its history, culture or political structure. It is quite confusing.

This mottled history provides the backdrop for Victoria Dondo's memoir, "I am Victoria." Raised as an adopted child named Analia by a suburban Buenos Aires family, as she grew into adolescence, she increasingly went her own way. Was it merely adolescent rebellion against her conservative Catholic parents? Or was there more to it?

Her saga is a combination of embracing a new identity as she came to realize that her background as she had believed it to be wasn't "the whole truth." By her mid-twenties, as she pursued her own interests she found herself increasingly at odds with her parents, particularly her adoptive father. Through a series of circumstances and events described in the book, Dondo discovers she is the offspring of "desaparecidos," or the "disappeared," as the term translates into English.

Her biological parents were leftist activists at a time in the late 1970's when the rightist government was at its most radical, basically eliminating anyone who protested too loudly. Neither of her parents were criminals or terrorists. Rather, they were a part of a group of political opponents of the regime inconveniently "in the way." Dondo herself was born while her pregnant mother was imprisoned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anna M. Waters on December 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is rather boring and yet interesting in it's own way. I would not recommend it to others.. Someone might like it.
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