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Named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 1996
One of the earliest known autobiographies by a woman, this is the extraordinary tale of Catalina de Erauso, who in 1599 escaped from a Basque convent dressed as a man and went on to live one of the most wildly fantastic lives of any woman in history. A soldier in the Spanish army, she traveled to Peru and Chile, became a gambler, and even mistakenly killed her own brother in a duel. During her lifetime she emerged as the adored folkloric hero of the Spanish-speaking world. This delightful translation of Catalina’s own work introduces a new audience to her audacious escapades.
“A rollicking, swashbuckling tale.” -Los Angeles Times
“The frontier nun’s rascally tale [is] a fascinating puzzle to decipher.” -Angeline Goreau, The New York Times Book Review
“A mesmerizing adventure!” -Tama Janowitz
“[Catalina de Erauso] dared to steal the quest narrative from the roving men of her time and, miraculously, survived to tell the tale. An essential work for recovering the roots of women’s autobiography and women’s remaking of identity through encounters with otherness, not only in society but in the self.” -Ruth Behar, author of The Vulnerable Observer
“The Steptos’ translation, without betraying the original, turns this memoir into compelling literature in English.” -Roberto González Echevarría, Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures, Yale University