La Gitana and the Lady Bullfighters of Mexico


Sandra Martinez Geary and Cornelius Geary

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La Gitana and the Lady Bullfighters of Mexico is the thrilling true story of real women matadoras, whose bravery defied tradition and death to take up the cape and sword in the bullrings of Mexico and Latin America in the 1940s and 1950s. With more than 300 actual photos, La Gitana presents the real-life drama of these valiant women – Gloria Martinez, La Gitana, the gypsy herself, Angelina Medina, and Teresita Andaluz, along with their heroic comadres – as together they overcame every obstacle that a machismo society and a blood sport dating to Roman times could aim at them.

In skillful prose, La Gitana shares the danger, threats, struggles, and triumphs the ladies faced, unfolding their riveting story from formative years and the training they endured – to the excitement of being lady bullfighters and the adulation they received as maestras.

La Gitana takes the reader into their private world, explores the psyches that drove these daredevil ladies into the ring, and reveals the bond that kept them together through one death-defying experience after another in country after country.

La Gitana and the Lady Bullfighters of Mexico is a rare reading experience – of women fighting their way to the very top of a man’s business, exhibiting astonishing courage, and prevailing dangerously against all odds.

La Gitana says “#metoo” more than 70 years ahead of the game, setting a standard of steely nerve and valor for generations of women to follow.

Matadora Martinez was the aunt of book author Sandra Martinez and their close, life-long relationship and hundreds of photos form the basis of this book. La Gitana also includes memories, accounts and photos of Angelina Martinez from interviews Sandra conducted with the brave and endearing banderillera, now in her 90s in Mexico City.

(Full-color coffee table book, 228 pages, hardcover; soon available in Spanish)