Today we have a sneak peek from author Mirta Ines Trupp’s creative non-fiction memoir, With Love, The Argentina Family.
Leaving behind a Peronista government, a stagnant economy and an anti-Semitic culture, the family transform into jet-setters relentlessly traveling back and forth across the continents thanks to a mother that never stops crying about “The Argentina Family” and a father who works for Pan American Airlines. Insecure and torn, a young immigrant girl learns to divide her life in between her adopted country and her native land. Almost inevitably, a long distance, whirlwind romance blooms in the aftermath of Argentina’s “Dirty War.” Complications abound, including a frightening interrogation with the Argentine Police and an astonishing encounter at the American Consulate.
With Love, The Argentina Family is available in print from Amazon.com and Amazon UK.
Here is an excerpt from With Love, The Argentina Family…
On special occasions, holidays or birthdays, Mami would make sure that we had a bouquet of flowers or a cake decorated with the words, “With Love, The Argentina Family.” This was one way Mami included the beloved family members into our daily lives. Later, when it was time to make a toast, everyone would raise their glasses and exclaim, “Para los presentes y los ausentes!”(For those who are present and those who are absent) It was not unusual for some tears to be shed. Silently, everybody would be thinking about loved ones so far away; dreaming of the day they’d be together once more. In the meantime, kids would be running in and out, under folding tables and between mix-matched chairs. The men would play dominos or truco (a traditional card game). They’d listen to futbol games on the radio and rant and rave until someone shouted “Gol!” With lethally-sharp toothpicks, they’d poke at their picada of pickles, cheese, and salami, drink effervescent combinations of seltzer and Cinzano and have fiery discussions regarding politics. The women, usually huddled in the kitchen, would discuss family issues, such as who was getting married, who was expecting a baby, which market had the freshest chicken, or more importantly, who was traveling to Argentina and could they bring back some Hepatalgina?
Everyone spoke at once; no one seemed to mind that others interrupted or raised their voices in order to be heard. There were groans and protests mixed in with shrieks of laughter. At some point, we’d all find a place to sit down so that we could finally eat. Delicious aromas would fill the small space. As children, we didn’t realize that our comfort foods were a blend of cuisines, Criollo, (a combination of gaucho or indigenous fare influenced by the Spaniards) “Jewish” (actually foods typical of Eastern Europe) and Italian (due to the tremendous influence of the Italian immigration to Argentina). Each one couldn’t be farther from the other culturally, but somehow the fusion of tastes and textures worked.
I noticed that the grown-ups would get very emotional and even angry at times when the subject turned to Argentina and it always turned to Argentina. One person would say, “This doesn’t happen in Argentina” and of course, the next person would say, “That doesn’t happen in America,” splitting themselves into groups of pros and cons. Years later, when I would reflect upon these conversations, I realized that those heated words were not necessarily against each other. They were internal debates, each person trying to justify the huge sacrifices made in order to seek out a better future. Still, as children, all we heard, all we felt, was the conflict. There, lurking in the background was the unspoken and remote possibility that we’d pick up and move back “home.” Yet, where was home? To most of the young children, home was America and for those old enough to remember Argentina …well, the old adage of “You can’t go back home” rang very true.
6 thoughts on “Sneak Peek: With Love, The Argentina Family”
If home is where the heart is, and you feel like you belong to 2 different countries, your hear may truly be torn in two.
Jeff, thanks for your comment; it hits close to home. My family here in the U.S. was formed by a rag tag group of immigrants. They desperately tried to blend into the American culture, as they equally clung to their Argentine identity; all along their Jewish faith cried out not to be forgotten. Assimilation. Tradition. Acceptance. Growth. Love…key words that helped reconcile some tough issues.
Mirta: I finished your book this morning. It was WONDERFUL. I have always known about your talent as a singer. I now know you are also a very talented writer. Thank you for sharing your incredible family! I look forward to more evenings of eating and laughter.
Thank you Cindy; I’m so happy and proud that you read and enjoyed my book. Look forward to creating some new memories soon.
I had great pleasure in adding With Love The Argentina Family to the Memoirs Only Library, which (sadly) I’m so busy with I haven’t got time to get in any reading.
However, having read your extract here, I will definitely read it when I get the chance. You have such a delightful way of painting a vibrant, complete and compelling portrait, with very few brush strokes (words).
Having been born in Africa, to a Prussian father and an African Mother before being sent to school in England at the age of four, then Wales, then Ireland without either parent ever being there I can understand and empathise with the search for identity.
You write wonderfully well and I hope, soon, to have the luxury of enough free time to read your work.
Thank you Richard for your kind and inspiring words. With each response, I feel more and more encouraged. We, each if us, have amazing stories to share, don’t we?
Thank you for your great efforts with the Memoirs Only library. I’m honored to be included with such a group.
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