Muriel Feiner is a college educated American woman who, years ago driven by her all-consuming and passionate aficion for bullfighting, left a promising career and confortable life in the United States and moved to Madrid to be part of the bullfighting world.
At the beginning Muriel encountered many difficulties in being accepted in the exclusive Spanish quasi all-male taurine world, because of her double jeopardy of being a woman as well as being a foreigner. But her determination, thorough knowledge of bullfighting and literary talent could not be ignored for long. First she was accepted as an excellent aficionada whose opinions were heard and considered. Then, in addition to being accomplished photographer and translator, she became a respected journalist, and finally an author of three interesting and original taurine books in Spanish. Furthermore, she became personally closer to the fiesta brava by marrying Pedro Giraldó, who was a matador, and later a well-known banderillero, until he retired to became a bullfighter's manager at the end of the European Taurine Season 2001.
Muriel published her first book in 1995, LA MUJER EN EL MUNDO DE LOS TOROS, and it received outstanding critical reviews. The theme of the book, which deals with the breaking of barriers of some pioneering women in the bullfighting world, had made her book a classic, and it is still being sold in bookstores throughout Spain. With similar success she published LOS PROTAGONISTAS DE LA FIESTA, in two volumes, in the year 2000.
The author is a popular and admired person within American taurine circles, being an active or honorary member of several clubs, to which she had contributed by making presentations and by writing well-documented articles in their newsletters. Also, Muriel has published articles in several English language magazines but until now her pen had not enriched the English language taurine literature with a book, as she has done within Spanish taurine literature.
Nevertheless, this situation will no longer be true, since WOMEN AND THE BULLRING, Muriel 's first book in English, has been published by the University Press of Florida and it will marketed by the same publisher and by Amazon.com starting in the month of July, 2003.
The Amazon.com promotional brochure presents the book as follows:
The presence of women in the bullring was literally banned in Spain until 1975, when the country's political transition to democracy recognized equal rights to women in every aspect of society. After centuries brave and reliantly crusading women have managed to make inroads into this male dominion. The story of WOMEN AND THE BULLRING is one of daring and determined women who overcome countless obstacles and sexist barriers to realize a unique dream---that of becoming a "matadora de toros".
In the first English translation of this award-winning book on the subject, Muriel Feiner chronicles the struggle of women to become matadors---not only Spanish and Latin American women but also American, French, and British---from the 17th century to the present day. She also includes women who attempted to make inroads into the bullfighting world as bull breeders, journalists, photographers, managers, artists, and impresarios, as well as a section devoted to the wives and mothers of some prominent male toreros.
Feiner's extensive research included interviews with noteworthy authorities and with protagonists themselves. The text is supplemented by an extraordinary collection of historical and recent photographs. Feiner's investigation into the fear, frustrations, determination and motivations of these remarkable women provides a unique insight into an often misunderstood spectacle.
Since I still I have not received WOMEN AND THE BULLRING I have confidence in the words of Amazon.com informing about Muriel's publication. I have not done this blindly but with the full confidence that the English version of the LA MUJER EN EL MUNDO DE LOS TOROS, that I read, reread, and of which I wrote some critical reviews, has to be every bit as good as the original or better, if possible, since the author is writing in English, without the handicap of expressing her thoughts in a foreign language.
At the conclusion of my review of LA MUJER EN EL MUNDO DE LOS TOROS (click to see review) published in LA BUSCA, the Taurine Bibliophiles of America magazine, of which Muriel is an honorary member, I addressed the author with the following words of encouragement and advice:
Muriel, what a great contribution you have made to taurine literature with the publication of LA MUJER EN EL MUNDO DE LOS TOROS! From now on it would be impractical to research, learn, or read for pleasure about the tribulations and successes of the women in the "fiesta de los toros", without consulting your book. I urge you to hurry to have it published in English, so the English-speaking aficionados can enjoy reading it as I did.