Latin-American Women Writers

Class, Race, and Gender

By Myriam Yvonne Jehenson

Subjects: Gender Studies
Series: SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory
Paperback : 9780791425602, 201 pages, August 1995
Hardcover : 9780791425596, 201 pages, August 1995

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Table of contents

About the Author



1. Latin-American Women/Women in Latin America

2. "To Build Bridges"

3. "Man's Love . . .'Tis Woman's Whole Existence"

4. Arms and Letters: The Power of the Word

5. "To Build New Worlds"

6. Indigenista and Testimonio Literature: "Let Me Speak"



Selected Bibliography


This book describes how Latin-American women writers of all classes, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present, ironize masculinist, classicist, and racist cliches in their narratives.


This book provides a much needed grouping of Latin-American women, emphasizing their differences—the diversity of their cultural backgrounds, socio-economic conditions, and literary strategies—as well as their commonalities. Humble writers of the Spanish and Portuguese testimonio and sophisticated postmodernist authors alike are contextualized within a "matriheritage of founding discourses. "

Myriam Yvonne Jehenson is Professor and Chair of International Languages and Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Hartford. She is the author of The Golden World of Pastoral: A Comparative Study of Philip Sidney's "Arcadias" and Honore d'Urfe's "L'Astree.


"This work is objective: intellectual rigor rather than politics governs its findings. It is theoretically sophisticated, but free of convoluted jargon. " — Marcia L. Welles, Barnard College

"Jehenson frequently uses a comparative approach and highlights the original treatment by Latin-American women writers of themes found in European literature from classical antiquity to the present. The author traces the nature of marginalization of women, both historically and in women's fiction. She shows the daring manner in which some of the writers reappropriate typically 'feminine' metaphors such as cooking, motherhood, and the idealization of love, in order to explore the social norms responsible for the marginalization and oppression of women. Testimonial narrative and elements of cruelty and the grotesque in fiction serve to denounce openly the terror of violence and injustice. " — Georgina J. Whittingham, State University of New York College at Oswego