cover of book

Back to Bizkaia: A Basque-American Memoir
by Vince J. Juaristi
University of Nevada Press, 2011
eISBN: 978-0-87417-865-4 | Paper: 978-0-87417-859-3
Library of Congress Classification E184.B15J83 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification 946.6


Nevada sheep rancher Joe Juaristi spoke for years about making a trip back to the Spanish Basque Country that he left sixty years earlier, but each time the subject came up the discussion evolved into a family debate about the scope and members of the journey. Finally Joe's son, Vince, secretly resolved to organize the trip that his father wanted and needed--the two of them, traveling alone, making a quiet reunion with Joe's twin sister, who suffers from Alzheimer's, visiting other aging siblings and friends, and recounting the places that formed Joe's memories of his youth.

Back to Bizkaia is part travel book, part memoir of two men exploring their mutual roots and their unique father-son bond. The narrative intertwines an engaging account of the contemporary Basque Country with Joe's experiences as an immigrant making his way in a new country and Vince's memories of growing up in a close Basque-American community in the American West. This is a book about Basques and their American families, but on another level it is every immigrant's story of return to a beloved homeland.

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