Writing Friendship

A Reciprocal Ethnography

  • Paloma Gay y Blasco
  • Liria Hernández

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literary Anthropology book series (PSLA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Paloma Gay y Blasco, Liria Hernández
    Pages 1-24
  3. Paloma Gay y Blasco, Liria Hernández
    Pages 25-52
  4. Paloma Gay y Blasco, Liria Hernández
    Pages 53-80
  5. Paloma Gay y Blasco, Liria Hernández
    Pages 81-108
  6. Paloma Gay y Blasco, Liria Hernández
    Pages 109-135
  7. Paloma Gay y Blasco, Liria Hernández
    Pages 137-158
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 159-189

About this book


This book tells the remarkable story of the friendship between Liria Hernández, a Roma woman from Madrid, and Paloma Gay y Blasco, a non-Roma anthropologist. In this unique reciprocal experiment, the former informant returns the gaze to write about the anthropologist, her life and her environment. Through finely crafted and deeply moving text, Hernández and Gay y Blasco suggest new ways of doing and writing anthropology.

The dialogue between Hernández and Gay y Blasco provides a courageous account of the entanglements and rewards of anthropological research. Drawing on letters, conversations, and fieldnotes gathered over twenty-five years, each of the authors talks about herself, the other, and the impact of anthropology on their two lives. They examine their intertwined trajectories as Spanish women and reflect on the challenges of devising their own reciprocal genre. Blending ethnography, life story and memoir, they undermine the dichotomy between author and subject around which scholarship still revolves.


feminist life stories collaborative anthropology ethnography human geography autobiography memoir Roma Gitano Spain Madrid

Authors and affiliations

  • Paloma Gay y Blasco
    • 1
  • Liria Hernández
    • 2
  1. 1.University of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK
  2. 2.MadridSpain

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-26541-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-26542-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site