March 31, 1998

Elizabeth Burgos, Latin American Woman of Letters, to Speak at Middlebury College

Elizabeth Burgos, one of the most widely recognized women in Latin American letters, will speak on Thursday, April 9 at 8 p.m. in Middlebury College's Dana Auditorium on College Street (Route 125). Burgos will address the validity of testimonio, the Latin American genre that has brought the life stories of impoverished people into literature and scholarship in their own eloquent words. The talk is free and open to the public.

Venezuelan by birth and French by citizenship, Burgos is best known for eliciting and publishing the story of a young Mayan Indian woman and the political violence that destroyed the woman's family and village in Guatemala. The book, "I, Rigoberta MenchĂș," commanded so much respect that its narrator went on to win the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize as a representative of the native peoples of the Americas, and of hopes for peace in Guatemala.

Recently Burgos edited a second life-story, "Memories of a Cuban Soldier," by one of the three survivors of Che Guevara's last guerrilla column in Bolivia. Currently she is working on a new book about her lifetime of experience with Latin American revolutionary movements.

For more information, please contact Mary Duffy, women's studies administrator, at 802-443-5937.