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The Ladies' Gallery: A Memoir of Family Secrets

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"Lolita Lebrón's granddaughter, heir to the most public female embodiment of heroic self-sacrifice in Puerto Rico in this century, [has written] a memoir full of searing, intimate truths, silences broken open to reveal the personal costs of public myth making. . . . A momentous act of courage. " -- The Women's Review of Books A shred of black lace. A broken hand mirror. A s "Lolita Lebrón's granddaughter, heir to the most public female embodiment of heroic self-sacrifice in Puerto Rico in this century, [has written] a memoir full of searing, intimate truths, silences broken open to reveal the personal costs of public myth making. . . . A momentous act of courage. " -- The Women's Review of Books A shred of black lace. A broken hand mirror. A spidery strip of false eyelash. These are the fragments left to Irene Vilar, granddaughter of Lolita Lebrón, the revered martyr for Puerto Rican independence who in 1954 sprayed the U.S. House of Representatives with gunfire. In The Ladies' Gallery, Vilar revisits the legacy of her grandmother and that of her anguished mother, who leapt from a speeding car when Vilar was eight. Eleven years after her mother's death, Vilar awakens in a psychiatric hospital and begins to face the devastating inheritance of abandonment and suicide passed down to her from grandmother and mother. Alternating between Vilar's notes from the psychiatric ward and the unraveling of her family's secrets, this razor-sharp memoir of three generations of Puerto Rican women is urgent, impassioned, unforgettable. "An autobiography as fantastic as any novel. " --Boston Globe "Profoundly moving [and] beautifully written." --Rosario Ferre, author of The House on the Lagoon


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"Lolita Lebrón's granddaughter, heir to the most public female embodiment of heroic self-sacrifice in Puerto Rico in this century, [has written] a memoir full of searing, intimate truths, silences broken open to reveal the personal costs of public myth making. . . . A momentous act of courage. " -- The Women's Review of Books A shred of black lace. A broken hand mirror. A s "Lolita Lebrón's granddaughter, heir to the most public female embodiment of heroic self-sacrifice in Puerto Rico in this century, [has written] a memoir full of searing, intimate truths, silences broken open to reveal the personal costs of public myth making. . . . A momentous act of courage. " -- The Women's Review of Books A shred of black lace. A broken hand mirror. A spidery strip of false eyelash. These are the fragments left to Irene Vilar, granddaughter of Lolita Lebrón, the revered martyr for Puerto Rican independence who in 1954 sprayed the U.S. House of Representatives with gunfire. In The Ladies' Gallery, Vilar revisits the legacy of her grandmother and that of her anguished mother, who leapt from a speeding car when Vilar was eight. Eleven years after her mother's death, Vilar awakens in a psychiatric hospital and begins to face the devastating inheritance of abandonment and suicide passed down to her from grandmother and mother. Alternating between Vilar's notes from the psychiatric ward and the unraveling of her family's secrets, this razor-sharp memoir of three generations of Puerto Rican women is urgent, impassioned, unforgettable. "An autobiography as fantastic as any novel. " --Boston Globe "Profoundly moving [and] beautifully written." --Rosario Ferre, author of The House on the Lagoon

53 review for The Ladies' Gallery: A Memoir of Family Secrets

  1. 4 out of 5

    Giovanna

    Little known book about the coming of age of a Puerto Rican girl with the unimaginable legacy of being the grandaughter to the rebel/martyr/terrorist (depending on who you ask)Lolita Lebron, who was imprisoned for opening fire inside the U.S. House of Representatives in the name of the Puerto Rican independence movement. This is a complex, beautifully written memoir which gives some background to the Puerto Rico of the 1940's and 50's and the independence movement (although not as much as some w Little known book about the coming of age of a Puerto Rican girl with the unimaginable legacy of being the grandaughter to the rebel/martyr/terrorist (depending on who you ask)Lolita Lebron, who was imprisoned for opening fire inside the U.S. House of Representatives in the name of the Puerto Rican independence movement. This is a complex, beautifully written memoir which gives some background to the Puerto Rico of the 1940's and 50's and the independence movement (although not as much as some would like), but also dwelves into the realm of depression, mental illness, and conflicting relations with parental figures.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I can't seem to finish this, so I'm setting it down for now. I can't seem to finish this, so I'm setting it down for now.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Not a fan... I wasn't impressed and the flow was poor. There was the potential but it fell short imop. Not a fan... I wasn't impressed and the flow was poor. There was the potential but it fell short imop.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Benecke

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

  6. 5 out of 5

    Irene

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lish Zee

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hilda

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christine Santana

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ann Cardinal

  12. 4 out of 5

    Craig Werner

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elena

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sofi Perez

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Ojeda

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gizella Arroyo

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eva

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ingried

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mark Eisner

  23. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jean

  25. 5 out of 5

    l.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Khris Sellin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  28. 5 out of 5

    Starmy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Molly

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lo

  31. 4 out of 5

    Allison

  32. 4 out of 5

    Nan

  33. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  34. 5 out of 5

    Gary

  35. 4 out of 5

    Elle

  36. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  37. 5 out of 5

    David

  38. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  39. 5 out of 5

    Jayne

  40. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  41. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

  42. 5 out of 5

    Mariana

  43. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  44. 4 out of 5

    John

  45. 5 out of 5

    Aine MacAodha

  46. 4 out of 5

    Michele

  47. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

  48. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  49. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  50. 5 out of 5

    Cat

  51. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

  52. 4 out of 5

    M

  53. 5 out of 5

    Poojapanchal2808

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