Prison of Women
Testimonies of War and Resistance in Spain, 1939-1975
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A translation of women's testimonies about their experiences in the prisons of Spain following the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 collected by Tomasa Cuevas, herself a surviving victim of the Francoist prison system.
Prison of Women presents oral testimonies of women incarcerated following the Spanish Civil War. The primary voice in the collection, Tomasa Cuevas, spent many years in prisons throughout Spain as a political prisoner. After the death of Franco in 1975, Cuevas began to collect oral testimonies from women she had known in prison as she traveled throughout Spain recording their stories. These, along with hers, eventually were published in three volumes in Spain. Prison of Women is a collaboration between Tomasa Cuevas and Mary E. Giles, translator and editor, who wrote the introduction and afterword, and provided contextual information in notes and a glossary. The testimonies offer a compelling record of the years leading up to the Spanish Civil War, the aftermath of that horrendous struggle, and a revealing testament to the strength of the human spirit.
Tomasa Cuevas is a former prisoner of war living in Spain. Mary E. Giles is Professor of Humanities at California State University. She has published several other books, including The Book of Prayer of Sor María of Santo Domingo: A Study and Translation, also published by SUNY Press, and The Feminist Mystic.
"I greatly admire the power of these simple, understated narratives to reveal the courage of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. This is a profoundly moving book in quiet and unexpected ways. I often felt myself transported—not only to another place and time—but into other consciences and destinies. Prison of Women is a cornucopia of telling, existential revelations about life, death, struggle, and hope. This is history first-hand, free from jargon, deepened by time and a tragic sense of life. It is a text of memories, colored and shaped by loss, yet filled with affirmation. " — Robert Inchausti, author of The Ignorant Perfection of Ordinary People
"This is an extremely powerful book, deftly edited and translated to bring forward a group of stories that deserve to be heard and could too easily be lost. " — Amanda Powell, University of Oregon