Virtual Event: Claudio Lomnitz


Nuestra América:
My Family in the Vertigo of Translation

in conversation with JESÚS R. VELASCO


February 10, 2021
7:00 PM ET


Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.


Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes CLAUDIO LOMNITZ—Campbell Family Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University and author of The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón—for a discussion of his latest book, Nuestra América: My Family in the Vertigo of Translation. He will be joined in conversation by JESÚS R. VELASCO, professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Yale University.

Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store

While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Nuestra América on, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.

Click here to join!

About Nuestra América

In Nuestra América, eminent anthropologist and historian Claudio Lomnitz traces his grandparents’ exile from Eastern Europe to South America. At the same time, the book is a pretext to explain and analyze the worldview, culture, and spirit of countries such as Peru, Colombia, and Chile, from the perspective of educated Jewish emigrants imbued with the hope and determination typical of those who escaped Europe in the 1920s. 

Lomnitz’s grandparents, who were both trained to defy ghetto life with the pioneering spirit of the early Zionist movement, became intensely involved in the Peruvian leftist intellectual milieu and its practice of connecting Peru’s indigenous past to an emancipatory internationalism that included Jewish culture and thought. After being thrown into prison supposedly for their socialist leanings, Lomnitz’s grandparents were exiled to Colombia, where they were subject to its scandals, its class system, its political life. Through this lens, Lomnitz explores the almost negligible attention and esteem that South America holds in US public opinion. The story then continues to Chile during World War II, Israel in the 1950s, and finally to Claudio’s youth, living with his parents in Berkeley, California, and Mexico City.

Praise for Nuestra América

“An autobiography in which we Latin Americans all recognize ourselves.” —Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature

“Nuestra América means ‘Our America,’ and that collective pronoun encompasses not just Claudio Lomnitz’s family but multitudes who have wound up on South America’s shores. It is about history, language, ideas and how they shape, in the sweep of time, our eccentric individual lives. We’re all familiar with the memoir that brings a dissolving old family snapshot to life; Lomnitz combines that snapshot with a panoramic picture of Spanish America and Europe from the nineteenth century to present time. Among other things, Nuestra América will give you a distilled portrait of Peru that, for this reader, made that enigmatic country more vivid and comprehensible than ever. The real treat of this extraordinary book is Lomnitz’s acute lucidity and intelligence. Read it—you will be richly rewarded.” —Michael Greenberg, author of Hurry Down Sunshine

“Claudio Lomnitz’s riveting family memoir is an account of trauma and displacement, but also one of resilience, passion, and even joy. From Romania to Peru to Colombia to Israel to California to Mexico and beyond, his forebears, vividly portrayed, lived lives of profound political and intellectual engagement and were intimate with important historical actors. Nuestra América joins Philippe Sands’ East West Street and Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes, bringing to light untold narratives of the Jewish diaspora.” —Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl

Claudio Lomnitz
Claudio Lomnitz

Claudio Lomnitz

Claudio Lomnitz is an anthropologist, historian, and critic who works broadly on Latin American culture and politics. He is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. Lomnitz’s books include Death and the Idea of Mexico and The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón, among many others. As a regular columnist in the Mexico City paper La Jornada and an award-winning dramaturgist, he is committed to bringing historical and anthropological understanding into public debate.

Jesús R. Velasco
Jesús R. Velasco

Jesús R. Velasco

Jesús R. Velasco studies Medieval and Early Modern legal cultures across the Mediterranean Basin and Europe within and outside the legal professions, from the perspective of contemporary critical thought. He is the author of Dead Voice: Law, Philosophy, and Fiction in the Iberian Middle Ages and Order and Chivalry: Knighthood and Citizenship in Late Medieval Castile. His articles on legal culture, chivalry, Occitan poetry, Political Theory, and other subjects have appeared in journals like MLN, La Corónica, Studi Ispanici, and many others. Velasco has taught at the École Normale Supérieure (Fontenay), University of Salamanca (Spain), UC Berkeley, and Columbia University, and Yale University, where he is presently a professor of Spanish.


Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

General Info
(617) 661-1515

Media Inquiries

Accessibility Inquiries

Classic Totes

Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs
, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!

Learn More »

Shipping & Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

Learn More »

Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »