Latina Self-Portraits: Interviews With Contemporary Women Writers

Latina Self-Portraits: Interviews With Contemporary Women Writers

by Kevane
     
 

Embracing Chicana, Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican writers and writers descended from a combined U.S. and Latin American heritage, Latina literature is one of the fastest growing and most exciting fields in fiction. This literature is characterized by revisionist views of recent history, a concern with exile and borders, a blending of genres, and a complex

Overview

Embracing Chicana, Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican writers and writers descended from a combined U.S. and Latin American heritage, Latina literature is one of the fastest growing and most exciting fields in fiction. This literature is characterized by revisionist views of recent history, a concern with exile and borders, a blending of genres, and a complex understanding of the term feminist.

In these ten interviews, Kevane and Heredia give writers the opportunity to talk about how they began to write, the craft of writing, the conjunction of life, art and politics, literary influences, and their goals as artists. Readers will meet Julia Alvarez, Denise Chávez, Sandra Cisneros, Rosario Ferré, Cristina García, Nicholasa Mohr, Cherríe Moraga, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Esmeralda Santiago, and Helena María Viramontes. The writers' personal and literary journeys vividly portrayed in these interviews will enrich and enhance the readers' understanding of this exciting field. The volume also includes bibliographies of the writers' work.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
Latina writers have come to the fore in the last decade, with The House on Mango Street and When I was Puerto Rican appearing regularly on summer reading lists, and the works of Julia Alvarez and Christina Garcia discussed in classrooms across the country. The editors of this set of interviews have talked and listened to ten Latina writers—Denise Chavez, Sandra Cisneros, Rosario Ferre, Nicholasa Mohr, Cherrie Moraga, Esmeralda Santiago, Helena Maria Viramontes, Judith Ortez Cofer, and the two mentioned above. They come from varied backgrounds and share the experience of growing up in the culture of the United States. Eight were born within ten years of each other in the late forties and fifties; two were small children during WW II. The next best thing to hearing a writer talk about his or her craft is to read a book that informs you in the same way, as this one does. The interviews range from questions about politics to the use of Spanish in English texts. Most write in English; some translate their works into Spanish. Some come from families who came to the U.S. for political reasons. A few now spend some of their time in the country of their families' origin. One lives in her native land. They talk of their sense of "otherness," and of being perceived as being an outsider. Since gender is always an issue in the writings of the ten authors the interviews make a point of eliciting comments on the origin of the female protagonists in their works, and on the authors' views of being female in a Chicano culture. Asked what writers influenced them, the women speak of other Latina writers, the icons of Latin American literature and a wide representation of works from Beowulf to LewisCarroll. There is no attempt to ask for or mention critical comment, although an excellent bibliography points the reader in that direction. The bibliography can also help as a library acquisitions guide. The book serves as a helpful addition to the history and evolution of American literature. Rosario Ferre, one of the authors born before WW II, points out that the population of the U.S. will be half Latino by the end of the century. Will we still have a literature as varied in nuance and experience as we do now? And what will we have lost if we don't? KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Univ. of New Mexico Press, 166p, 23cm, 99-050785, $19.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Penelope Power; Libn., Garrison Forest Sch., Garrison, MD, September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826319722
Publisher:
University of New Mexico Press
Publication date:
04/28/2000
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
174
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.42(d)

Meet the Author

Bridget Kevane teaches literature at Montana State University.

Juanita Heredia is assistant professor of Spanish at Northern Arizona University.

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