Into the Beautiful North

by Luis Alberto Urrea

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In Into the Beautiful North, what is the backstory of Chava and Aunt Irma?

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Aunt Irma and Chava first got together when Irma was a bowling champion back in the sixties. Chava was also a champion bowler, and that's how he and Irma came to get to know each other. Soon, they were hanging out together, indulging in their shared love of bowling and going to the movies. Chava was very knowledgeable about all things cinema-related and introduced Irma to one of his favorite hobbies.

Unfortunately, the two ended their romance up after Chava left Irma for an American woman. Since then, Irma has gained the nickname of "La Osa," or the "she-bear," a reference to the toughness she's had to display in moving on with her life after such an appalling betrayal. However, later on in the story, Irma falls right back in love with Chava when they meet up again after many years apart.

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