Mónica Szurmuk

monica szurmuk

Mónica Szurmuk is a Senior Researcher at the National Council for Science and Technological Research of Argentina (CONICET) and a Professor at the Universidad de San Martín where she codirects the graduate program in Latin American Literatures. She has published extensively on gender, memory, women´s literature and Jewish culture in Latin America. Her books include Mujeres en viaje (Alfaguara, 2000), Women in Argentina, Early Travel Narratives (University Press of Florida, 2001), Memoria y ciudadanía (Cuarto Propio, 2008), Diccionario de estudios culturales latinoamericanos (Siglo XXI, 2009, English version, 2012), Sitios de la memoria: México Post ´68 (Cuarto Propio, 2014), The Cambridge History of Latin American Women’s Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Entre mundos y lenguas: las cartas de un maestro de la Alliance Israélite Universelle desde Entre Ríos (UNER 2018), and La vocación desmesurada: Una biografía de Alberto Gerchunoff (Sudamericana, Penguin Random House 2018). She is the editor of the series Latin American Literature in Transition for Cambridge University Press. She is currently editing the complete works of Alberto Gerchunoff and she is currently working on a project that explores kidnapping of children during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship in Argentina.

La vocación desmesurada

Una biografía de Alberto Gerchunoff

Argentinean Jewish writer Alberto Gerchunoff is best-known for his book The Jewish Gauchos (1910), a short novel set in the agricultural Jewish colonies of Argentina at the turn of the twentieth century. A tireless writer and political advocate, Gerchunoff published eighteen books and hundreds of newspaper articles between 1906 and his death in 1950 and campaigned against Nazism and Fascism, denounced segregation in the United States, and singlehandedly obtained the UN votes from Latin American countries that assured the creation of the State of Israel. Born in 1883, the youngest child of Yiddish-speaking parents who immigrated to Argentina shortly after his birth, Gerchunoff became a key figure in the Latin American cultural world. His friends included Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda, and Gabriela Mistral, he met Marcel Proust in Paris and corresponded with Stefan Zweig and Waldo Frank.

This biography, which makes ample use of materials from public and private collections spanning four continents, is not just a deeply researched birth-to-death chronology but also a meditation on Alberto Gerchunoff's role as a key player in the international literary, cultural and political landscape of the 20th century which provides a thorough and compelling introduction to his work for North American and European readers who do not yet know him.