By Lucy Fischer-West
Lucy Fischer-West is familiar with the facility of birthplace and of borders and rivers. Her memoir starts with the tale of her mom and dad, one reared in Germany, the opposite in Mexico, and the way they discovered one another at the Texas-Mexico border. Fischer-West's personal trips take her from her delivery within the Hudson River Valley; to her upbringing on each side of the Rio Grande; around the Atlantic to Scotland after which France; and at last to India's River Ganges, midway all over the world from the El Paso barrio the place she grew up. Hers is a standard lifestyles made striking through its course and via the folk who, having touched and enriched her lifestyles, stick with her, as nurturing to her spirit because the rivers that aid her mark time. by means of focusing no longer at the conflicts of border lifestyles yet particularly on daily reports made wealthy via her appreciation of them, Fischer-West honors her rivers and the folk who commute them, move them, live to tell the tale their banks, and shower of their waters. Her tale touches at the feelings that bind us to others: anger, sorrow, equanimity, exuberance, and serenity.
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Extra resources for Child Of Many Rivers: Journeys To And From The Rio Grande
June , . he had a house. My aunts and grandmother begged him to wait. He declared that where the husband goes, the wife must also go. The “house” that my father owned was a ramshackle tarpaper shack in the Catskill Mountains, a mile from Cairo, in the woods, on a hill, with no facilities of any kind and no neighbors within miles. Neighbors would not have done my mother much good, since she still spoke almost no English. She was a dutiful wife, doing all that was required of her in that wilderness setting, including carrying water up the hill from a stream oﬀ the Hudson River.
Dress in dirty tattered clothes and wander with playmates through neighborhoods away from hers, knock on doors, and ask pitifully if the mistress of the house had plates that needed licking. “Señora, señora,” she would implore, “tengo mucha hambre. ” The game lasted until her father happened to be conducting business with the owner of a house she visited and heard his daughter’s plaintive voice asking for food to satisfy her hunger. A razor-strop whipping ensured that she never played that game again.
My mother became a Baptist nonetheless; oddly enough, my grandmother was more accepting of her choice than were my aunts ever were. By the time my grandfather died of a botched appendicitis operation at the hands of a drunken doctor, Antonia Lara Rey had borne him twelve children. The five survivors ranged in age from one in the womb to one aged nineteen. My mother was twelve. While the family was burying my grandfather, his brother—who had never approved of my grandmother— stripped the house of all that was valuable.
Child Of Many Rivers: Journeys To And From The Rio Grande by Lucy Fischer-West