Anthropology


Ruth Behar, Translated Woman:
Crossing the Border with Esperanza's Story

(Boston: Beacon Press, 1993; Paperback, 1994)

Cuentame algo aunque sea una mentira: Las historias de la comadre Esperanza
(México, DF: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2009)

Translated Woman is an account of my friendship with a Mexican street peddler. It was named a Notable Book of the Year for 1993 by the New York Times and received Honorable Mention, Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing, from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, in 1994. Translated Woman was adapted for the stage by PREGONES Theater, a Latino theater company based in the Bronx, New York. The stage adaptation, with live music and songs based on the book, has been performed in New Hampshire, the University of Michigan, and the University of Minnesota. The premiere of the work in a commercial venue took place on November 12, 1998 at the Painted Bride Theater in Philadelphia.

Translated Woman is widely used in courses in women's studies, Latin American and Latino studies, anthropology, history, psychology, education, and literature. It has gained a broad readership outside the academy and is frequently mentioned as an essential book on Mexico and on the new turn toward including a personal dimension in humanistic research.

 

 

Ruth Behar, The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart
(Boston: Beacon Press, 1996)

Edith Turner has written about The Vulnerable Observer: "Ruth Behar is famed for her fieldwork writing, and fieldwork writing is after all at the heart of anthropology. . . . As a supporter of the anthropology of experience, I would truly recommend that fieldworkers lend their own experience to the process of enriching and dynamizing the fieldwork material itself. . . . The Vulnerable Observer is an imperfect, vulnerable book; it would be poor-spirited to deal with it piecemeal. . . . Those who read it with sympathy will find unique nourishment, things of surprising value that are needed to feed the new anthropology." (American Anthropologist, December, 1997.)

The Vulnerable Observer is now available in a Chinese translation and was named among the top books in the translation category in Taiwan for 2010.

 

 

 

Ruth Behar, The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village: Santa María del Monte
Princeton University Press, 1986; expanded paperback edition, 1991.

The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village tells the story of how a small village negotiated its relation to the past in the wake of social transformations that removed people from the land during the late Franco years.