Her blood is both Aryan and Aztec and runs as deep as the waters between two worlds.
Rita Magdaleno was born near Dachau shortly after World War II to a German mother and a Mexican American GI.
Her family moved to Arizona in 1947, and Rita was raised with her father's traditionsbut she remains at heart a child of two cultures.
These poems are grounded in heart and soul and flawlessly engage the personal, historical and political.
Southwest Book Views
This poetic memoir, recalling Magdaleno's return to
the land of her birth, is an intertwining of personal and public history, bridging continents and cultures in search of family secrets. Her poems recall a mother "Marlene Dietrich pretty, / her
smoky voice / & those wide Aryan / eyes that promised / never to lie," a war bride who named her child after a Hollywood movie star even before casting eyes on America. They also offer a new,
intimate view of the warand of today's reunified Germanyand show that the consequences of events played out half a century ago continue to resonate with the children of that era.
Magdaleno navigates currents of emotion that would drown less capable poets. With patience, courage, and abiding love, she draws on memories of mother and motherland to show us that healing can
come in many forms.