Friday, April 25, 2008

Immigrant of the Day: Florinda Donner (Germany)

Florinda Florinda Donner was born February 15, 1944 in Amberg, Germany. She is an American author and anthropologist.

In her childhood, Donner immigrated with her parents to Venezuela.  She was nicknamed "Hummingbird" because of her ceaseless energy. She was said to have similar intelligence and charisma to her later husband and influential author Carlos Castaneda. Florinda tells in her books that she was an apprentice of Castaneda. She was also called one of "the witches" in Castaneda's books. The type of shamanism that Castaneda and his followers practiced made the followers "erase their personal history."   For a story about Castaneda and his followers, click here.

In 1982, Florinda Donner published a best selling book Shabono, with contradictory pseudo-anthropological stories in which she claims to have lived among the Yanomami indians in the Amazonas. Among critics the book is called "anthropologically inspired fiction." She lived in Westwood Los Angeles and traveled often to her old hometown Caracas.

In 1993, Carlos Castaneda marries Florinda Donner in Las Vegas. In 1998, Carlos Castaneda died. The day after his death, Florinda Donner disapperead.


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