Ashes of Izalco
Claribel Alegria Northwestern University Press, 1989 Library of Congress MLCS 90/06098 (P)
Written in two voices, Ashes of Izalco is a collaborative novel by Claribel Alegrfa and Darwin Flakoll, a love story set against the events of 1932 when thirty thousand Indians and peasants were massacred in Izalco, El Salvador. Ashes of Izalco brings together a Salvadoran woman and an American man who together struggle over issues of love, loyalty and socio-political injustices.
Death of Somoza
Claribel Alegria Northwestern University Press, 1996 Library of Congress F1527.S6A53 1996 | Dewey Decimal 989.2121
Death of Somoza reveals the inside story of the assassination of Somoza in Asuncion, Paraguay in 1980. Alegria and Flakoll, on the recommendation of Julio Cortazar, met "Ramon," a leader in the Argentinian Revolutionary Workers' Party (PRT) and with his help were able to interview all the survivors of the commando team that carried out the "bringing to justice" of Somoza. Alegria and Flakoll then rewove these testimonies into a narrative that reads like a thriller, as well as giving a vivid picture of the political and social climate of the time. Enlivened by its colorful cast of characters, Death of Somoza is the definitive account of how Anastasio Somoza Debayle was brought to justice. This story is not an apology for terrorism, but rather the chronicle of a tyrannicide.
Claribel Alegría, translated from the Spanish by D. J. Flakoll Northwestern University Press, 1993 Library of Congress PQ7539.A47F84 1993 | Dewey Decimal 861
Well-known for her incisive descriptions of war and violence in El Salvador, Claribel Alegría is one of Central America's most eminent poets. In Fugues, a lucid and strikingly beautiful original collection, she looks squarely into the face of mortality, love, and aging, to explore the personal as well as universal questions that face each human being.
Halting Steps represents the most complete single-volume retrospective in English of Claribel Alegría’s seven-decade career. The volume collects all of Alegría’s poems from her fourteen previously published books and debuts several new poems under the title “Otherness.”
Alegría was born in Nicaragua during the United States occupation of that country. Alegría’s family opposed the occupation and moved to El Salvador, where she grew up. Her poetry is not only lyrical and introspective but also politically engaged. Her verse has always spoken forcefully, specifically, and fearlessly to matters of social justice in her region. She strikes a universal theme, however, in giving a voice to individuals of all classes in their struggle against oppression, but especially women who must contend with a system in which men hold the power and women are excluded. Alegría demonstrates her remarkable range with deeply personal poems, perhaps most notably in the poem cycle “Sorrow,” as she moves steadily through the waves of grief she experiences after her husband’s death.
In Halting Steps, both longtime admirers and those new to her work can appreciate the sustained creative power of Claribel Alegría’s poems.
In Woman of the River one of the major voices in Latin American poetry confronts the political realities of contemporary Central America. Many of the poems are political, direct, and condemnatory of the United States’ presence in Latin America, and they are rich, human documents rooted in Alegria’s knowledge of and love for her subjects.
As Carolyn Forche has written of Alegria’s previous selection of poems, Flowers from the Volcano: “These poems are testimonies to the value of a single human memory, political in the sense that there is no life apart from our common destiny. They are poems of passionate witness and confrontation. Responding to those who would state that politics has no place in poetry, she would add her voice to that of Neruda’s: we do not wish to please them . . . .” She carries within her the ancient blood of the Pipiles and laces her language with mesitizo richness.”