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Beyond the Pampas: In Search of Patagonia [Kindle Edition]

Imogen Rhea Herrad
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Beyond the Pampas is an exploration of the lives of the descendents of nineteenth century Welsh settlers in Argentina. Herrad discovers a fascinating melding of Welsh and Spanish language cultures through which she explores the nature of heritage and identity. Her expectations are further challenged by the plight of Patagonia's indigenous peoples - the Tehuelche and Mapuche - with the land-related cultures and oppression by European settlers. This is an additional prism through which to view history, as is the difference Herrad discovers between metropolitan Buenos Aires and the rural hinterland. And the whole is underpinned by Herrad's personal journey of self-discovery, from an abusive childhood in Germany to acceptance in the communities of Wales and Patagonia. Herrad's openness to new experience and her wonder at the natural world result in a rich and evocative depiction of the exotic places in which she finds herself, from camping under the stars in the Andes to whale-watching on the Atlantic coast, and from the Welsh-speaking tea rooms of Chubut to the museums of lost Indian peoples.


Product Description

About the Author

Born and brought up in Germany, Imogen Herrad has also lived in London and in Argentina, and currently divides her time between Cardiff and Cologne. She writes in German and English. Her short stories and articles (in English) have been published in magazines and anthologies in Wales, Canada and the US. She is the author of 'The Woman Who Loved an Octopus and other stories', a collection of stories about female Celtic saints. Her programmes for German public radio (in German) include pieces about the Queen of Sheba, Morgan le Fay, Zora Neale Hurston, the Mapuche people of Patagonia, and the cultural histories of sheep, dragons, the apple and hermaphrodites, respectively.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 637 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Seren (15 Dec. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AQVQG88
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #164,037 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Imogen Rhia Herrad is a German writer and broadcaster. Born and brought up in Germany, she has also lived in Britain and Argentina, and currently divides her time between Cardiff and Cologne. She writes in German and English. Her short stories and articles (in English) have been published in magazines and anthologies in Wales, Canada and the US. Her programmes for German public radio (in German) include pieces about the Queen of Sheba, Morgan le Fay, Zora Neale Hurston, the Mapuche people of Patagonia, and the cultural histories of sheep, dragons, the apple and hermaphrodites, respectively.
Imogen's story "The Accident" has been longlisted for the Raymond Carver Short Story Awards. Her children's story "The Wind's Bride" won third prize in the London Writers' Competition. In 2009, she received a bursary from Academi, the Welsh literature promotion agency.
http://www.myspace.com/woman_who_loved_octopus

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book I always wanted to read about Patagonia 23 April 2013
By Dani
Format:Kindle Edition
I grew up in Wales and, like Herrad, remember in detail the moment I first heard of the Welsh speaking community in Patagonia: in the main classroom of our small village school, so I must have been at least 8 years old. The sun was shining and our choir-singing headmaster rose further in my estimation with this amazing knowledge which he shared with us. The fascination has remained but, unlike Herrad, I've never been there myself. This book of her journeys feels like she's answered all my questions and, better than that, come up with (and answered!) exactly the kind of new questions I wanted to know the answers to once she started to look at Patagonia from a modern-day perspective. I'm not sure if this is good for tourism but it must be good for the environment: I can now take my own trip to Patagonia off my list of things I'd like to see one day. A wonderful book. (I have the paperback, not the Kindle edition)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Wales beyond the Seas 14 Aug. 2013
By Quercus
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was two-thirds of the way through a thoroughly engrossing book when I received the Kindle Daily Deal offer of “Beyond the Pampas”, downloaded it, read the opening paragraphs, liked it immediately, continued to read and finished it in one extended session. That, in itself, is a measure of how good it is.

Herrad, a German, produces English which would shame many an author with English as their mother tongue with only two small, acceptable errors noticed, but not worth recording, in the whole book. As well as German and English, she learnt and speaks Welsh, an almost unheard of activity for those with no Welsh roots, and, by her own accounts, has passable Spanish. Her languages, her flair for descriptive writing, her encounters with unusual people some of whom, because of her innate shyness, she forces herself to meet with considerable trepidation, and her knowledge of Welsh history combine to produce a captivating travelogue illuminating the history and present circumstances of the still extant Welsh colony established in Patagonia in 1865.

Having known of the colony for many years, but never impelled to learn more about it, Herrad transforms it from a mere curiosity into something worth investigating further and, for good measure, throws light on the efforts of the Argentine Government to eradicate the indigenous people in much the same way as occurred in North America.

My only regret is that, so far, “Beyond the Pampas” appears to be Herrad’s only full-length book. Perhaps she could turn her attention to Pembrokeshire, the “Little England beyond Wales”.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Bookie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'll put my particular interest in this book up front. I live in Wales and have met descendants of the original settlers. I have family connections to the very southern part of South America. So I look for contemporary accounts of life at the end of the earth.

This book ticked all the boxes. Ms Herrad's narrative is easy to read; descriptive without being too wordy. There's a mix of past and present, Welsh and Spanish, old and new. The constant juxtaposition of cultural origins and differences is presented to explain how and why a small group of people set sail from Britain in the mid 19th century and settled in a vast , bleak and unknown territory.

I was familiar with the background, but this book has added so much to my knowledge. I was unaware, for example, that the first settlers set up a constitution and more than 50 years before the vote was afforded to women in Britain, they had equal voting rights. The struggles experienced by the original settlers are considered in context. they were white people emigrating to a new land where they were granted ownership rights to land in preference to the indigenous population. This aspect is ignored in other works and Ms Herrad has done well to explore this controversial aspect.

In addition, she writes well. Simple scenes of sunset, or vast expanse of pampas are brought to life . A hair raising coach trip is long, dry and dusty for the reader. The friendships and bonds she formed with individual descendants of the settlers are heartwarming and real. This book is an account of discovery, for both author and reader and I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not a book I would normally have read but so pleased I did. I felt I was there in Patagonia with the writer. It was initially such an implausible idea - a German who spoke Welsh. I look forward to reading more of her work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Patagonia 11 Nov. 2013
By Helen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An Interesting book giving an insight into the history of Patagonia. Would recommend if going to the region and want to know a little more but not be bogged down with info!
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3.0 out of 5 stars An unknown area 21 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An interestng and fascinating country. Imagine starting out to farm in such an alien place far from home. Interesting structure to the book
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5.0 out of 5 stars In touch with the Earth 26 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Patagonia comes to life with the intensive search for not only the Welsh but their indigenous Indian pre-cursors. Modern Argentina begs many questions about its past.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Welsh 21 Sept. 2013
By Karen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Being Welsh, I've heard of the Welsh community in Patagonia and was intrigued by it. I loved reading about everyone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I have thoroughly enjoyed this book
Having recently returned from Patagonia and being Welsh, I thought this was a must read. I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. Read more
Published 3 days ago by rowena gulhan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read
Published 2 months ago by JOHN SELWYN JONES
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it. Having Spanish as first language and
I enjoyed it.
Having Spanish as first language and ?Welsh as second is an interesting combination!
Published 4 months ago by mel williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
I didn't know that there was a colony of Welsh settlers in Patagonia still proudly speaking their native language. An interesting mix of history and the author's own experiences.
Published 9 months ago by N. M. Davey
3.0 out of 5 stars its okay
on the whole I was disappointed I expected more involved of the history and the reasons for the people leaving wales ,instead I got a travel book
Published 15 months ago by patricia ellis
3.0 out of 5 stars Patagonia
Very interesting well written, learnt about Patagonia not enough to want to go there, the Welsh connection was interesting didn't know so many had gone there.
Published 17 months ago by Alan UK
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Very interesting I do not usually read this sort of book. But I really enjoyed it. Well worth a read.very well written and very interesting. Read more
Published 17 months ago by elaine heggan
5.0 out of 5 stars a real exploration of patagonia
Perhaps it takes a German, living in Wales, to be able to explore the conflicts and subtle currents in Patagonia. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Corven
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