On the impulse behind Cartographies, Marjorie Agosin writes, "I have always wanted to understand the meaning of displacement and the quest or longing for home. In these lyrical meditations in prose and poetry, Agosin evokes the many places on four continents she has visited or called home. Recording personal and spiritual voyages, the author opens herself to follow the ambiguous, secret map of her memory, which "does not betray." Agosin's journey begins in Chile, where, before her family left in the early days of the Pinocher dictatorship, she had spent her childhood. Of Santiago Agosin writes, "Day and night I think about my city. I dream the dream of all exiles." Agosin also travels to Prague and Vienna, ancestral homes of her grandparents, and to Valparaiso in Chile, which received them as immigrants. Kneeling among the yellow mounds at the Terezin concentration camp, where twenty-two of her relatives died, Agosin places "small stones, shrubs, the stuff of life on graves I did not recognize." And then on through the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Europe, and the Americas...Everywhere, she is drawn to women in whose devotion and creativity she sees a deep vein of hope.
Marjorie Agosin, a human rights activist and writer, is a professor of Spanish at Wellesley College. Agosin has written almost twenty books including Dear Anne Frank, A Cross and a Star, and The Alphabet in My Hands. Agosin's henors include the Gabriela Mistral Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement, given by the Chilean government; the Letras de Oro prize; and the Latino Literature Prize.