Elena Poniatowska's best and most accessible work, Here's to You, Jesusa! is a rich, sensitive retelling of the life of Jesusa Palancares de Aguilar. Born in Oaxaca in the early 1900s, she loses her mother at a young age and lives with her father until one of his girlfriends beats and stabs her. Moved to her godmother's house, Jesusa serves as a maid until she reunites with her father during the Mexican Revolution and joins the army of General Jesus Carranza. In the army, Jesusa is forced to marry another soldier who beats and abandons her. On one such occasion she is beaten so severely that it draws the attention of the general himself, who punishes her husband. After the revolution, Jesusa finds work in Mexico City, first as a domestic, then in a series of factories, and begins her long history of run-ins with the police. Poniatowska documents a colorful life while also providing a compelling, firsthand account of the most important events in Mexico during the twentieth century. Reprinted twenty-eight times since its original publication in 1969, Here's to You, Jesusa! now stands as a classic of Mexican literature.
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