But in such surveys, there is no category for anusim
By creating a family of Jews--including anusim
, conversos, and public Jews like Ale's great-grandfather Ytzak--who have been on the island "from the very beginning" (35), Obejas transforms that void into a narrative space in which she can construct the missing collective memories of all those in exile and diaspora.
Being cut off even 200 years for those Anusim
who fled to Amsterdam in the 1600s resulted in a jarring clash of cultures and a difficult time to re-acculturize, since these people were steeped in Christian culture and religion for such a long period.
The Benei Anusim
are descendants of Jews forced to convert to Christianity during the Inquisition.
And then there are the words which become pictures--articles on Judeo-Persian Literature, the Impure Jew, the Anusim
of Mashhad, Clothing and Makeup, Jewish Persian Carpets, Worlds Apart: Mothers, Daughters, and Family Life, and so on, these articles adding depth of life to the faces that appear in the photos.
Normally, historians prefer the more neutral term New Christian; some use the Hebrew term anusim
, meaning those who are forced (to convert to Christianity).