She was a small figure of a woman, but this was
deceptive. She was never short on logic or turn
of phrase; she was incandescent. She knew her
politics, and she knew how to argue. Which is to say,
lay out the logic of the matter while recruiting the
heart. And she was speaking English as a second
language. An English inflected with Spanish , with the
cadence and the logic of it. But also with the
culture of her native Chile, and that powerful
combination of politics and poetry, of political
savvy and serious fun. These talents and
energies she brought to Canada and Canadian letters.
Here she melded North and South America, the
past and the present, building an audience on
Radio-Canada , and a community in Vancouver. For
me, a fellow writer and Writers' Union activist,
I found in her a political dedication that
abides in friendship -- the two come together.
Naturally and inevitably, she is the person you want
on your team. And so she has put endless time
into committees, the chairing task forces, and writing
of briefs. We all owe her for this. But I
still have to say that working with her has been one
of my life's great pleasures.