5 Things Gaby Brimmer Loved, or Would Have
Gaby Brimmer was a voracious reader and writer who published several other books, as well as articles and individual poems. In her introduction to Gaby’s life story, Elena Poniatowska recalls how Gaby’s mother, Sari, proudly showed her Gaby’s bookshelf, whose contents ranged from Spinoza, Marx, Bertrand Russell and Gabriel García Márquez to Dostoevsky, Jung, Max Weber and Rosario Castellanos. "I have a cause, and maybe that’s why I write," Gaby declared. "I want to tell the world that I’m fighting for myself and for my people... I want us to have equal opportunities to live, to fight, and to be ourselves." Here is some of what she held dearest or might have:
1. The ADEPAM
Gaby and a group of friends founded the Asociación para los Derechos de Personas con Alteraciones Motoras (Association for the Rights of People with Motor Disabilities) in 1989. Originally an advocacy group, it now concentrates on rehabilitation services. To see a series of photos of Gaby, enter the site, click on "Gaby Brimmer" and then scroll through the introduction.
2. Gaby: Un año después
Yet to be translated into English, this 1980 collection of Gaby’s poetry sold 20,000 copies when it was published in Mexico City. Though out of print, as are her published letters (Cartas de Gaby) and the short story collection Disfraces y otros cuentos, these books are often available through used book dealers and in libraries.
3. Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life
If Gaby had lived to 2005, I’ll bet she would have read Harriet McBryde Johnson’s witty, insightful, irrepressible memoir. "You're easy to deal with," Johnson’s father tells her. "As long as you get exactly what you want and no one gives you any shit."
4. Elena Poniatowska: An Intimate Biography
Had she lived to 2003, Gaby would likely have read the bestselling Spanish original of this biography, entitled Elenísima: ingenio y figura de Elena Poniatowska The English version was published in 2007.
5. The Mexican Revolution by Adolfo Gilly
Gaby did read the original Spanish version of this book, mentioning it in Gaby Brimmer during an imaginary conversation with her typewriter, which she named "Che" (after Che Guevara). Critic Carlos Monsivais has called Gilly’s volume "a splendid amalgam of political history, dialectic analysis, a vision of a people in arms, and an uncompromising demystification."
--- Trudy Balch
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