Chica Lit: Popular Latina Fiction and Americanization in the Twenty-First Century

Chica Lit: Popular Latina Fiction and Americanization in the Twenty-First Century

by Tace Hedrick


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Winner, 2016 ALA-Choice Outstanding Academic Title

In Chica Lit: Popular Latina Fiction and Americanization in the Twenty-First Century, Tace Hedrick illuminates how discourses of Americanization, ethnicity, gender, class, and commodification shape the genre of “chica lit,” popular fiction written by Latina authors with Latina characters. She argues that chica lit is produced and marketed in the same ways as contemporary romance and chick lit fiction, and aimed at an audience of twenty- to thirty-something upwardly mobile Latina readers. Its stories about young women’s ethnic class mobility and gendered romantic success tend to celebrate twenty-first century neoliberal narratives about Americanization, hard work, and individual success. However, Hedrick emphasizes, its focus on Latina characters necessarily inflects this celebratory mode: the elusiveness of meaning in its use of the very term “Latina” empties out the differences among and between Latina/o and Chicano/a groups in the United States. Of necessity, chica lit also struggles with questions about the actual social and economic “place” of Latinas and Chicanas in this same neoliberal landscape; these questions unsettle its reliance on the tried-and-true formulas of chick lit and romance writing. Looking at chica lit’s market-driven representations of difference, poverty, and Americanization, Hedrick shows how this writing functions within the larger arena of struggles over popular representation of Latinas and Chicanas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822963653
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 06/11/2015
Series: Latino and Latin American Profiles Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Tace Hedrick is associate professor of English and women’s studies at the University of Florida. She is the author of Mestizo Modernism: Race, Nation, and Identity in Latin American Culture, 1900-1940.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface: What's a Girl to Do When…? xi

Introduction: A Regular American Life 1

Chapter 1 Genre and the Romance Industry 27

Chapter 2 Class and Taste: Is It the Poverty? 59

Chapter 3 Latinization and Authenticity 87

Conclusion: Not Even the Mexicans 106

Notes 119

Works Cited 129

Index 137

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