Since the 1992 quincentennial of the Iberian events of 1492, a large number of autobiographies by Jews who are not Ashkenazim have been published in a variety of languages. In this article, I seek to contextualize this outpouring of memory work and self-analysis. Focusing on memoirists of Spanish-Portuguese background, however attenuated, I read the tarnished but treasured place of Sefarad in these recent works and interpret the authors' often ambivalent self-location with regard to Sephardic identity. A fruitful contrast can be made with the initial flourishing of Ashkenazic autobiography in the nineteenth century. I compare the recent works with their Sephardic predecessors as well as with other non-Ashkenazic but not Spanish-Portuguese memoirs, finding in general a late modernist devaluation of religion, tradition, and tribalism, but also hints of a perhaps postmodernist return of the repressed.


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pp. 151-187
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