Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences English Professor Alicia Kozameh began writing before she even knew how to read. She remembers being about 3 or 4 years old growing up in Rosario, Argentina and dictating what she needed to express to her mother. Her family sent her to a private teacher at a very young age, and she excelled academically from the very beginning of her schooling.
With an early love for writing, it’s no surprise that she has written and published seven novels, two short story collections, a poetry book, a poetry series (featuring five volumes), and many more. Her novels and poetry have been translated and published in different languages, and her stories have been widely anthologized.
Kozameh’s latest publication Ofrenda de propia piel 2 (Alción Editora, 2022) comes after 18 years from the original Ofrenda de propia piel (Alción Editora, 2004). Ofrenda de propia piel (the Spanish title translates to Offering from my own skin in English) is a collection of short stories about the lives of women who are political prisoners in Argentina during the dictatorship from 1976-1983. Kozameh, herself, was a political prisoner during this time. After her release, she continued to suffer constant repression and persecution, and was forced to go into exile in 1980, first in California, and later in Mexico.
“There were three editions, and almost all those stories were translated into different languages and widely anthologized,” said Kozameh. “They were taught by many professors around the world. One of those professors, from Switzerland, asked me if I had more stories to write about the subject, and I did have some.”
Those additional stories became Ofrenda de propia piel 2. The structures of both books are very similar and according to Kozameh “complement each other.”
Recently, Kozameh was invited back to Argentina for the launch of Ofrenda de propia piel 2 in her hometown of Rosario. The bookstore, Mal de Archivo, was elbow-to-elbow with people to hear Kozameh read from her latest book.
“It was fantastic the fact that I got to see friends that I hadn’t seen for many years. Articles in newspapers and announcements were published the day before the event, so they found out about it. It was a wonderful experience,” said Kozameh of the reading event.