The Dark Side of Memory

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Pub Date 21 Sep 2021 | Archive Date Not set

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Description

***Please note this is an ARC and may contain typos or errors that will be corrected in the final, published edition of the book***

Award-winning author Tessa Bridal was born and raised in Uruguay, leaving with her family when she was 20. Now, she returns to chronicle the stories of those who disappeared during the country’s political turmoil -- following the stories of families, their loss and their resilience in her new book, “The Dark Side of Memory” (Sept. 21, 2021, Invisible Ink).


“The Dark Side of Memory” is a gripping and incisive narrative of the multi-generational effect of the extremist military dictatorships in Uruguay and Argentina, as told to the author by families of the disappeared. Through her retelling, Bridal elevates the stories of the overlooked, voiceless and forgotten humans behind political turmoil.

***Please note this is an ARC and may contain typos or errors that will be corrected in the final, published edition of the book***

***Please note this is an ARC and may contain typos or errors that will be corrected in the final, published edition of the book***

Award-winning author Tessa Bridal was born and raised in Uruguay...


A Note From the Publisher

Tessa Bridal was born and raised in Uruguay, a third generation descendent of a resilient and courageous Irish woman who boarded a ship she had been informed was sailing for Boston. Once on the high seas she discovered that she was instead headed for Buenos Aires. (Her ancestor’s story is told in Bridal’s second novel River of Painted Birds.) Generations later, Bridal reached the shores her great-great-grandmother thought she was bound for. She worked in Washington DC saving to take a three- year acting and directing course at a London drama academy. She returned to the United States and settled in Minnesota, where she studied sign language and became Artistic Director of the Minnesota Theatre Institute of the Deaf. Her first novel The Tree of Red Stars won the Milkweed National Prize for Fiction and the Friends of American Writers annual award. Her work has been reviewed by the New York Times and praised by educators and historians. She is the recipient of the American Association of Museums (now the American Alliance of Museums) Educators Award for Excellence for her work in creating educational theatre programs that became the model not only for science and children’s museums, but for zoos and aquariums as well. She has worked at the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She is the proud mother of two daughters and grandmother of two boys (seven and five) with a promising future in wrestling, magical thinking, and experimental science.

Tessa Bridal was born and raised in Uruguay, a third generation descendent of a resilient and courageous Irish woman who boarded a ship she had been informed was sailing for Boston. Once on the high...


Advance Praise

“A bright star in a constellation of creative nonfiction works about the violent conflicts of mid-late 20th century in Latin America, the book casts a profound human gaze on a most devastating personal and social tragedy. The Dark Side of Memory weaves its narrative slowly. It pulls you in until you are compelled to read on in spite of a growing sense of foreboding. You are entering the sacred grounds of deep loss and deaths foretold, only, you are doing so held by Bridal’s compassionate hand and beautifully evocative voice. It lifts the lesser known stories of Uruguayan victims of the dictatorships that plagued South America’s “southern cone” up to the altar of quotidian, anonymous heroism where they belong. Critically, it centers its narrative on the behind-the-scenes epic struggle to recover defenseless young children, some born in clandestine torture centers where their mothers were murdered by those who kept them as their own. In doing so, Bridal offers us a poignant, clear-eyed view of the conflict, to best measure the viciousness of the military’s actions, and the courageous resilience of survivors and relatives who never gave up on their abducted kin. In the age of Black Lives Matter and the brutal detention of children by US Immigration Enforcement at the border, The Dark Side of Memory is a most caring and powerful cautionary tale as to the enduring, generational nature of trauma when political violence is unleashed on those most vulnerable.” 

-- Roberto Gutiérrez Varea, Director, Latin American Studies Program, University of San Francisco

 

“Tessa Bridal’s The Dark Side of Memory has the immediacy of a novel. We travel alongside a group of indefatigable women: into the torture centers of the Argentine military junta; through their long bureaucratic battles to rescue the children who were stolen from them. This is a book about the way the violence of the past weighs on the future, shaping its possibilities. And it is also a book about how acknowledging that past—fighting against the seductions of forgetting—opens a less violent, more human future.”  

-- Toby Altman, National Endowment for the Arts 2021-2022 Fellow in Poetry  


“This is a holy book—because it tells the truth, concretely and unflinchingly. In the midst of an inferno, The Dark Side of Memory points us to the lives of the mothers and grandmothers of Uruguay and Argentina who, out of great love for their children, refused to permit the perpetrators of devastation to have the final word. Tessa Bridal bears witness to the power of memory, truth-telling, and hope, and so also to the possibility of a just world. This is a tremendous work of love.”

-- Ry O. Siggelkow, Director of Initiatives in Faith & Praxis, University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN

 

“These life stories, portrayed in all their vivid complexity by Tessa Bridal, honor the humanity of the many who were dehumanized by Latin America's dirty wars. Her creative telling brings us as close as we can get to grasping the motivations behind the crime of enforced disappearance, and to feeling for ourselves its deep and lasting scars upon victims, families and societies.” 

-- Barbara Frey, Director, Human Rights Program, University of Minnesota


“A bright star in a constellation of creative nonfiction works about the violent conflicts of mid-late 20th century in Latin America, the book casts a profound human gaze on a most devastating...


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