where the writers are
remedios-stories-earth-iron-from-history-puertorriquenas-aurora-levins-morales-paperback-cover-art.jpg
Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas
$19.55
Paperback
See Book Details »

BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • Jul.08.1998
  • 9780896086449

Aurora gives an overview of the book:

Remedios is a prose poetry retelling of the history of the Atlantic world, from Arabia to the Dakotas, from the Andes to Angola, the story of Puerto Rian women and our kin in all the cultures we come from, and whose borders we have touched.  Beginning in prehistory and ending in 1954, Remedios is a rich collage of prose poetry vignettes, a multitude of voices, including those of medicinal plants, for this is medicinal history, a healing narrative of reclaimed memory.  "There is no other book like Remedios. It is history, anthropology, poetry and myth; it is a song and a prayer.  Aurora Levins Morales is a Jewish Latina curandera who embraces diverse legacies with passion and eloquence. In stories so beautifully told they soar off the page...she offers us remedies that heal our bodies and souls and feed the spirits of our many forgotten ancestors....
Read full overview »

Remedios is a prose poetry retelling of the history of the Atlantic world, from Arabia to the Dakotas, from the Andes to Angola, the story of Puerto Rian women and our kin in all the cultures we come from, and whose borders we have touched.  Beginning in prehistory and ending in 1954, Remedios is a rich collage of prose poetry vignettes, a multitude of voices, including those of medicinal plants, for this is medicinal history, a healing narrative of reclaimed memory. 

"There is no other book like Remedios. It is history, anthropology, poetry and myth; it is a song and a prayer.  Aurora Levins Morales is a Jewish Latina curandera who embraces diverse legacies with passion and eloquence. In stories so beautifully told they soar off the page...she offers us remedies that heal our bodies and souls and feed the spirits of our many forgotten ancestors.  How generously she nourishes us with ginger, mint and maguey, but also with memorie sof terrible sorrow and gorgeous joy; so we will always be grateful for the sturggles of the women who came before us, giving us the life we must learn to cherish each day."  Ruth Behar, author of  The Vulnerable Observer

Read an excerpt »

@font-face { font-family: "Times"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Symbol; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }

 Anamú

Petiveria alliacea

Anamú is a hiss between the teeth of the last resort, the flat eye of the cornered snake about to strike, the clenched fist of dark wood that protects at any cost, the metallic taste of revenge under the tongue.  With the deadly humor of those who have almost nothing to lose, they call it "amansa senhor," or tame the master.  Stroke him, soothe him, calm him, put him to sleep.   Anamú is a healing bath, an easer of unbearable aching, a spell, a tool, a knife that leaves no trace of itself, a slow grip squeezing the heart of your enemy.  Call it Congo root, Gully root or Guiné. Whatever name it wears, it can steal through the house undetected. 

 

Anamú enters the master through the bowl of soup, the cup of coffee held by the expressionless maid.   First he is uneasy, excitable, unable to sleep, hallucinates eyes of fire and strange voices in the corners of his bedroom. Soon he becomes dull and apathetic, then loses all interest in his affairs, no longer capable of ordering punishment or entering your room at night.  The body servants wash and comb the idiot, who is still technically their master, with meticulous care.  Slowly over the months, as the household slaves spoon his warm milk into his mouth, he deteriorates. It is a stealthy poison, too slow to blame on a single toxic meal. The family considers it a mysterious tropical decline.  It will take nearly a year of those careful feedings before his throat becomes paralyzed, incapable of any speech, his limbs rigid and convulsed. 

 

When the final spasm releases him and drops him limp as the dish rag she wipes her hands on after touching him, his slave woman will wash him one last time and lay him out.   Anamú cannot give her back her life, only take his. Anamú cannot restore her freedom, only the solitude of her bed. Anamú does not lift the load from her back, only lets her shift the weight.  Anamú has no tenderness to offer her, only a narrow, harsh passage out of despair.

 

aurora-levins-morales's picture

Note from the author coming soon...

About Aurora

I'm a Puerto Rican Jewish feminist and radical writer, historian and activist. Born in Puerto Rico, I came to the US in 1967, spent my teens in Chicago, college in New Hampshire and have lived in the Bay Area since 1976.  I grew up in a rainforest, in a house full of books...

Read full bio »