Isabel Allende is a master of retelling history, of weaving historical events into her stories and using her characters’ lives to help us better understand major world events. A Long Petal of the Sea is no exception – Allende uses Victor and Roser to take us on a multigenerational journey that begins at the Spanish Civil War and moves through key moments of Chilean history, from the rise of Salvador Allende through the military dictatorship. But what would happen if we extended their story to the present? How might we imagine the lives of their descendants in the world today? What pieces of our own history might make it onto the page? In this presentation, anthropologist Emily Matteson brings our timeline of Chilean history to the present by highlighting some of the key cultural and political moments to impact the country in the last five years. Drawing on her own research in Chile, Matteson will extend the novel’s themes of protest, community, and art to paint a picture of life in Chile today.
Emily Matteson is a doctoral candidate in cultural anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, and a visiting instructor for the Anthropology Field Group at Pitzer College. Her research examines abortion politics and feminist approaches to abortion activism in Chile, and her teaching focuses on reproductive justice and activism and social movements in Latin America.
This event is part of SB Reads. Santa Barbara Reads events will run from late September through mid-November and include book discussions, workshops, musical performances, and more! Santa Barbara Reads is funded through the annual support of the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation. To learn more about the foundation and how to support SB Reads 2023, visit their website.
Participants in this event may be photographed by Library staff. These photos may be used in promotional or educational publications, including in print, social media, and presentations. Please see staff if you do not consent to having your photo taken. Staff will obtain individual, signed photo releases of photographs that contain only an individual as opposed to a group.