The Little School: Tales of Disappearance and Survival

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One of Argentina's 30,000 "disappeared," Alicia Partnoy was abducted from her home by secret police and taken to a concentration camp where she was tortured, and where most of the other prisoners were killed. Her writings were smuggled out of prison and published anonymously in human rights journals. The Little School is Alicia Partnoy's memoir of her disappearance and imprisonment in Argentina in the 1970s. Told in a series of tales that resound in memory like parables, The Little School is proof of the resilience of the human spirit and the healing powers of art.

This second edition features a revised introduction by the author and a preface by Julia Alvarez.
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About the author

Alicia Partnoy has presented testimony on human rights violations to the United Nations, the Organization of American States, Amnesty International, and human rights organizations in Argentina. She has lectured at universities throughout the United States, where The Little School has been used extensively as a text in classrooms. She teaches at Loyola University in Los Angeles. The Little School "Partnoy writes in a way that makes the reader feel as if they are at the concentration camp with her, and the stories sit in your gut long after they are through. Offering us a glimpse of an event that changed everything for so many people, The Little School is a work of art every history or social justice buff should read." —Portland Book Review "Remarkable…for her flinty humor and her determination to take joy from any source—the smell of rain, the imagined taste of a soft drink, the sight of her own feet through a loosely tied blindfold." —Tobias Wolff "Courageous, understated, chilling…" —Bobbie Ann Mason
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Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Sep 1, 1998
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Biography & Autobiography / Political
History / Latin America / General
Political Science / Human Rights
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Un récit poignant à plusieurs voix

La petite école, publié en 1986 aux États-Unis puis en 2006 en Argentine rend compte par petites touches, au moyen de courts chapitres, de l’expérience d’incarcération par le gouvernement militaire en Argentine durant les années 70 d’Alicia Partnoy et d’autres victimes du régime.
Les détenus aux yeux en permanence bandés ne perçoivent le lieu et les événements que par leurs autres sens : ce qui fait de ce témoignage littéraire à plusieurs voix un texte délicat et poignant, dans lequel alternent l’angoisse, les peurs, les humiliations, la faim, mais aussi les moments d’espoir et de joie faits d’un rayon de soleil entraperçu, d’une précieuse boulette de mie de pain, ou des vers d’une comptine qui ressurgit dans la mémoire.

Certains de ces textes, lus durant procès pour la vérité de Bahía Blanca en 1999, ont été versés au dossier à titre de preuve.


Nous oubliions les noms, les visages et les rues, les maisons, les rencontres... Mais nous nous souvenions toujours d’alimenter la racine de notre rêve... Ou presque toujours. Parfois ce rêve se brisait un instant, une minute, deux heures, un jour entier, peut-être une semaine. Ensuite, la voix amie construisait à partir des vitres brisées une fenêtre de laquelle on pouvait deviner les nôtres poursuivant le combat quotidien. Et puis c’était se relever... cohabiter avec la mort et la folie.
Obligés de demeurer allongés sur des matelas ou sur le sol,sans parler, sans voir, les mains attachées et l’estomac vide, supportant les coups, les insultes et l’incertitude de la dernière balle, nous avons appris des militaires, durant ces mois dans La petite école, que la haine qu’ils ont pour nous est plus grande que celle qu’éprouve le peuple envers eux.


Alicia Partnoy (1955, Bahía Blanca, Argentine) écrivaine et poétesse, incarcérée entre janvier et avril 1977 dans le centre de rétention clandestin de Bahía Blanca connu sous le nom de La petite école puis dans différentes prisons du régime, contrainte à l’exil en 1979, a témoigné devant les Nations Unies, l’Organisation des États américains, Amnesty International et la Commission nationale sur la disparition des personnes (CONADEP) pour dénoncer les violations planifiées des droits de l’homme sous la dictature militaire argentine.
Très engagée, elle vit actuellement à Los Angeles et enseigne à la Loyola Marymount University.
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