Sewing Their Stories, Telling Their Lives

For Martha J. Manier, Ph.D., who taught Spanish and Women’s Studies at Humboldt State University, stories have always been a prime interest, from the personal stories of family and friends, to medieval exempla, Spanish and American folktales, and, finally, the microcuentos and short stories of contemporary Latin America. Her translations of the latter have appeared in journals, anthologies, and bilingual editions. Currently, she is a research associate at the Museum of International Folk Art where she also volunteers as a textile cataloger.

Embroidered narratives by women living in rural areas, shanty towns, inner cities, and refugee camps dominated markets during the last quarter of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st. Sewing Their Stories, Telling Their Lives traces the beginning of this artistic movement from three independent Chilean sources to other countries on five continents. Moreover, this richly illustrated book’s own story defines an art form without academic overlay or political agenda but from the artists’ own perspectives, recounted directly in interviews and at sewing tables around the globe.