Author Recalls Coming of Age in Argentina in ‘La Sombra Del Baron’

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New Spanish-language nonfiction shows devastating effects of family secrets, trauma.

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Argentine-American author Laura Lavayén shares memories from her early childhood and adolescence in her reflective new Spanish-language memoir, “La Sombra del Baron” (published by Trafford Publishing).

The fourth girl born into a family of 10 siblings, Lavayén recalls life in Estancia Vieja, Argentina, where she lived on the ranch where her father worked until she was old enough to go to school. Then, the carefree days she enjoyed in the countryside became a thing of the past, and she was sent to live with her paternal grandmother.

“At home, she was a matriarch who imposed on us very strict rules to lead an orderly life, where everything was done according to her criteria,” Lavayén remembers. The adjustment to her grandmother’s strict discipline proved to be a difficult one.

When Lavayén was 6 years old, her mentally handicapped 14-year-old half-sister, Caty, had a baby, but the family pretended the child belonged to the girls’ aunt. When Caty died suddenly a short time later, Lavayén was kept home from school to help her mother care for the child.

“Losing Caty and not going to school filled me with rage,” she says, and she became “obsessed” with the idea of leaving home. When Lavayén was 13, her aunt told her that the father of Caty’s child was actually her own father. “Every time I decided to talk about it, I lacked the strength. I became a silent, sad, taciturn, and melancholic person. Only my mother knew what my problem was.”

Written with introspection, style and grace, “La Sombra del Baron” tells a memorable coming-of-age story against the rich backdrop of Argentina’s social and political climate in the wake of World War II.

“La Sombra del Baron”
By Laura Lavayén
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 142 pages | ISBN 9781412052474
E-Book | ISBN 9781412233668
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Laura Lavayén was born in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, and has lived in the United States for many years. She is also the author of “Ilegales,” “Hello Buenos Aires…Goodbye Buenos Aires” and “Hello USA.”

Trafford Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC self-publishing imprint, was the first publisher in the world to offer an “on-demand publishing service” and has led the indie publishing revolution since its establishment in 1995. Trafford was also one of the earliest publishers to utilize the Internet for selling books. More than 10,000 authors from over 120 countries have utilized Trafford’s experience for self-publishing their books. For more information about Trafford Publishing, or to publish your book today, call 1-888-232-4444 or visit

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