Nov 3rd 2021

Join us as we welcome Tessa Bridal and Daniel Borzutzky for an event to mark the publication of The Dark Side of Memory: Uruguay’s Disappeared Children and the Families that Never Stopped Searching.

**This event will be streamed via YouTube Live. Register in advance to receive a link to view to be sent to you the day of the event. **

The Dark Side of Memory examines the largely unknown history of the state sponsored kidnapping of children in Uruguay and Argentina during the Cold War. The author interviewed parents, family members, and the children (now adults) for first person accounts detailing the circumstances of the kidnappings and the illegal adoption of newborns from the torture centers where they were born. Mothers and grandmothers, often involved in decades-long searches for their missing children and grandchildren, shared their determined and courageous confrontations with the kidnappers and with the governments and military forces that protected them.

Tessa Bridal was born and raised in Uruguay, a third generation descendent of a resilient and courageous Irish woman who boarded a ship she had been informed was sailing for Boston. Once on the high seas she discovered that she was instead headed for Buenos Aires. (Her ancestor’s story is told in Bridal’s second novel River of Painted Birds.) Generations later, Bridal reached the shores her great-great-grandmother thought she was bound for. She worked in Washington DC saving to take a three- year acting and directing course at a London drama academy. She returned to the United States and settled in Minnesota, where she studied sign language and became Artistic Director of the Minnesota Theatre Institute of the Deaf. Her first novel The Tree of Red Stars won the Milkweed National Prize for Fiction and the Friends of American Writers annual award. Her work has been reviewed by the New York Times and praised by educators and historians. She is the recipient of the American Association of Museums (now the American Alliance of Museums) Educators Award for Excellence for her work in creating educational theatre programs that became the model not only for science and children’s museums, but for zoos and aquariums as well. She has worked at the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

She is the proud mother of two daughters and grandmother of two boys (seven and five) with a promising future in wrestling, magical thinking, and experimental science.

Daniel Borzutzky holds a joint appointment in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at the University of Illinois Chicago. He is a poet and translator from Spanish. His 2016 collection, The Performance of Becoming Human (Brooklyn Arts Press), won the National Book Award. His most recent publication is Lake Michigan (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018). His work has been recognized with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN/Heim Translation Fund; and the Illinois Arts Council. Since 2017, he has been an editor at Kenning Editions, and has overseen the publication of new translations from Cuba and Argentina. He also serves as the Intercambio (Spanish-translation) poetry editor at Chicago’s MAKE Magazine; and he is an artistic director for MAKE’s Lit and Luz Festival, an ongoing collaboration between writers and artists from Chicago and Mexico.

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