This volume offers a critical study of a representative selection of Latin American women writers who have made major contributions to all literary genres and represent a wide range of literary perspectives and styles. Many of these women have attained the highest literary honours: Gabriela Mistral won the Nobel Prize in 1945; Clarice Lispector attracted the critical attention of theorists working mainly outside the Hispanic area; others have made such telling contributions to particular strands of literature that their names are immediately evocative of specific currents or styles. Elena Poniatowska is associated with testimonial writing; Isabel Allende and Laura Esquivel are known for the magical realism of their texts; others, such as Juana de Ibarbourou and Laura Restrepo remain relatively unknown despite their contributions to erotic poetry and to postcolonial prose fiction respectively.
The distinctiveness of this volume lies in its attention to writers from widely differing historical and social contexts and to the diverse theoretical approaches adopted by the authors.
|Brigida M. Pastor —|
Brígida M. Pastor teaches Latin American literature and film at the University of Glasgow. Her publications include "Fashioning Cuban Feminism and Beyond", "El discurso de Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda: Identidad Femenina y Otredad"; and "Discursos Caribenhos: Historia, Literatura e Cinema".
Lloyd Hughes Davies —
Lloyd Hughes Davies teaches Spanish American Literature at Swansea University. His publications include "Isabel Allende, La casa de los espíritus" and "Projections of Peronism in Argentine Autobiography, Biography and Fiction".
A Companion to Latin American women writers, ed. by Brigida M. Pastor and Lloyd Hughes Davies. Tamesis, 2012. 253p bibl index ISBN 1-85566-236-1; ISBN 9781855662360. Reviewed in 2013may CHOICE.
This decidedly second wave feminist collection comprises 14 essays on Latin American women writers, a theoretical introduction, a brief conclusion, and a shared bibliography (with a preponderance of resources from the 1980s and 1990s). A preference for authors from Mexico and Argentina (four each), plus two from Chile and one Colombian, leaves little room for Caribbean and none for Central American women. Lamentably, the only Cuban is the admittedly brilliant 19th-century author Gómez de Avellaneda, claimed also by Spain. As a "companion" work, this book sets out to provide sociohistorical context, a bit of personal biography, a panoramic and mostly thematic commentary of extant works, and some minor stylistic analysis; however, the central preoccupation of the essays is old-style feminist analysis. Each of the 14 contributors has his or her own distinct style, some more accessible (e.g., Nina Scott) and others more dense and reminiscent of Irigaray (e.g., Brigida Pastor). Arguably, the collection's most valuable contribution is its fairly exhaustive look at the various authors' oeuvres (a notable exception being Claire Taylor's chapter on Laura Esquivel). Unfortunately, some noticeable formatting and editing flaws detract from the whole.
Summing Up: Optional. Large collections supporting study of Latin American literature. -- S. E. Cooper, California State University--Chico
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