GOLDEMBERG, Silvana




Author Tags: Kidlit & Young Adult

"In small and medium Argentine cities," says Silvana Goldemberg, "everyday there are at least ten kids, teens and mothers knocking your door asking for food. My mom was a teacher of those children and we used to have the door open with a basket full of fruits for these kids to serve by themselves."

Born (in 1963) and raised in Argentina, Silvana Goldemberg of Richmond has consequently written a realistic, Latin American equivalent to Shaw's Pygmalion, Victoria (Tradewind 2013 $12.95), set in the crime-ridden streets of Paraná in Buenos Aires.

Instead of being saved by a man, fifteen-year-old Victoria must save herself, overcoming grim poverty and rampant violence by eking out a living selling flowers in nightclubs and cleaning cafes--if she's lucky.

"The characters of my book are based on real people," says Goldemberg, "and I want children in Canada, the US and UK to get to know them. I grew up very close to kids with lives like Victoria’s."

Victoria is the sole provider for her younger, twin brothers. With determination and the friendship of her cousin who is a pop singer named Betina, Victoria ultimately overcomes the odds and forges a healthy romance with a budding, teenage soccer player, Andrés.

Victoria has been translated by Emilie Smith, also born in 1963 in South America. Smith was working as a minister in New Westminster when she was contacted by publisher Michael Katz to translate Goldemberg's Spanish text to English. [Photo by Murielle Faifman] 978-1-896580-95-1

[BCBW 2013]

Victoria (Tradewind $12.95)
Article (2014)


from BCBW 2014
Raised in Argentina, Silvana Goldemberg has written a realistic, Latin American equivalent to Shaw’s Pygmalion, Victoria (Tradewind $12.95), set in the mean streets of the Paraná neighbourhood of Buenos Aires where food is scarce and danger is a given.

“In small and medium Argentine cities,” says Silvana Goldemberg, “everyday there are at least ten kids, teens and mothers knocking at your door asking for food.

“My mom was a teacher of those children and we used to have the door open with a basket full of fruits for these kids to serve themselves.”

That was the catalyst for Victoria, a thoroughly engaging Young Adult novel of endurance in the face of poverty.
Instead of being saved by someone else, fifteen-year-old Victoria must save herself, overcoming daunting responsibilities and rampant violence by eking out a living selling flowers in nightclubs and cleaning cafes—if she’s lucky.

“The characters of my book are based on real people,” says Goldemberg, “and I want children in Canada, the US and UK to get to know them. I grew up very close to kids with lives like Victoria’s.”

Victoria is the sole provider for her younger, twin brothers. With determination and the friendship of her cousin, who is a pop singer named Betina, Victoria ultimately overcomes the odds and forges a healthy romance with a budding, teenage soccer player, Andrés.

It’s not exactly a fairy tale ending, but the righteousness of the central character is validated. She had risen beyond the status of innocent victim and taken control of her life, nourished by hope and persistence.
Goldemberg, who lives in Richmond, B.C., was born in Argentina in 1963. Victoria has been translated by Emilie Smith who was also born in 1963 in Cordoba, Argentina, to American parents and came to B.C. in 1967. Smith was working as a minister in New Westminster when she was contacted by publisher Michael Katz to translate Goldemberg’s Spanish text to English

978-1-896580-95-1