Tracing transatlantic connections between the search for social and economic on the parts of Spain during the Second Republic and of Chile under the Popular Unity government, DiGiovanni (Keene State Univ.) explores memory, nostalgia, and narrative. She demonstrates how nostalgia—often viewed as a conservative stance seeking to return to a lost Utopia—can idealize and critique past moments of solidarity and resistance. In the prologue she writes that the term unsettling nostalgia is a “critically conscious type of longing” that can help reclaim the past in order to “inspire new affiliative claims ... while remaining cautious of monologic idealizations,” challenging past and present nationalist and patriarchal narratives. In the valuable introduction the author examines theory on memory and nostalgia. The volume's six chapters focus on novels, film, and documentaries from 1996 through 2006, including Roberto Bolaño’s Estrella Distante, Dulce Chacón's La voz dormida, Roberto Brodsky’s Ultimos días de la historia, Almudena Grandes’s El corazón helado and El lector de Jules Verne, and work by Carmen Astudillo and Carmen Castillo. This engaging study explores nostalgia as a tool to create community, linking generations in the construction of identity and demonstrating the way nostalgia for past revolutionary projects informs present struggles. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.
This book’s scope and its position at the intersection of memory and identity make it relevant to several disciplines, including memory studies, women’s and gender studies, transatlantic studies, Latin American studies, genocide studies, and film studies....The reader walks away able to recognize various types of nostalgia and the many purposes they can serve, and with an understanding that emotion is an inextricable part of memory and should not be neglected or discarded...DiGiovanni’s approach is notable for its intersectionality, generosity, and nuance.