La herida de Paulina

Elena Poniatowska

NOVEL. SEIX BARRAL, 2007. 138 PAGES.

Poniatowska chronicles the recent case of Paulina through a montage of dialog, description, and photographs. After being raped, the 13-year-old attempts to obtain a constitutionally legal abortion. Although she and her mother receive authorization from the Public Ministry, they are eventually thwarted at the general hospital of Mexicali despite persevering for well over a month against mistreatment, intimidation, invasion of privacy, and the doctors' refusals to perform the operation. Poniatowska weaves together strands that deal not only with Paulina, her family, and the people involved throughout her struggle but also with issues of life in a border town, illegal immigration, violence against women, and the infringement of religion in the politics of a lay state.

Written in a colloquial style, the book is interspersed with photographs that provide an impressionistic rather than illustrative effect. The work as a whole functions not as polemic or descriptive narrative but as a composite of voices through which a picture emerges. It is a testimonial of indignation and support for this particular individual, whose experience reflects the pervasive oppression of so many other women.

PUBLISHED BY: Spanish Wordlwide SEIX BARRAL

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