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Book Title: Bitter Grounds|
The author of the book: Sandra Benítez
Date of issue: 1997
ISBN 13: 9780340695838
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 993 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.3
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Bitter Grounds, Sandra Benitez's American Book Award-winning novel, chronicles the lives of three generations of women in war-torn El Salvador. After losing most of their family during the massacres of 1932, Mercedes Prietas and her daughter Jacinta go to work for Elena de Contreras and her family, who own enormous coffee and cotton plantations. During the next 40 years, the women of both families help each other endure the many hardships that come their way. Benitez manages to portray both the poor and the rich women in this book as complex, sympathetic characters. Like the heroines of Los dos, their favorite radio soap opera, the women in this novel suffer heartache, unrequited love, betrayal, and the loss of loved ones. One by one, all of Jacinta's family members are killed amid the country's political turmoil. Elena's heart breaks when she discovers her best friend in bed with her husband on the eve of their daughter's marriage. The Contreras family struggles to retain control of its land during the late 1970s government-mandated redistribution of wealth. Through it all, the women sustain each other, even after circumstances separate them: "Sometimes, late at night or, most often, very early in the morning, when Jacinta lay in her cot in the little room she shared with Rosalba, her mother stirred within her. This was not craziness, but a consolation. To feel her mother's flesh, her bulk, shored up along the banks of her own bones and flesh." Bitter Grounds is a thoughtful, vivid account of the lives of some very resilient women.
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Read information about the authorSandra Benitez was born in Sandy Ables, Washington D.C. and spent ten years of her childhood in El Salvador while her father was based there as a diplomat. She attended high school in Missouri from aged 14 and subsequently graduated with a B.S. (1962) and M.A. (1974) from Northeast Missouri State University.
In 1997 she was selected as the University of Minnesota Edelstein-Keller Distinguished Writer in Residence. In 1998 she did the Writers Community Residency for the YMCA National Writer’s Voice program. In the spring of 2001 she held the Knapp Chair in Humanities as Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of San Diego.
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