Toward a Latina Feminism of the Americas: Repression and Resistance in Chicana and Mexicana Literature

Synopsis

Weaving strands of Chicana and Mexicana subjectivities,Toward a Latina Feminism of the Americasexplores political and theoretical agendas, particularly those that undermine the patriarchy, across a diverse range of Latina authors. Within this range, calls for a coalition are clear, but questions surrounding the process of these revolutionary dialogues provide important lines of inquiry. Examining the works of authors such as Sandra Cisneros, Laura Esquivel, Carmen Boullosa, and Helena María Viramontes, Anna Sandoval considers resistance to traditional cultural symbols and contemporary efforts to counteract negative representations of womanhood in literature and society. Offering a new perspective on the oppositional nature of Latina writers, Sandoval emphasizes the ways in which national literatures have privileged male authors, whose viewpoint is generally distinct from that of women-a point of departure rarely acknowledged in postcolonial theory. Applying her observations to the disciplinary, historical, and spatial facets of literary production, Sandoval interrogates the boundaries of the Latina experience. Building on the dialogues begun with such works as Sonia Saldivar-Hull'sFeminism on the Borderand Ellen McCracken'sNew Latina Narrative, this is a concise yet ambitious comparative approach to the historical and cultural connections (as well as disparities) found in Chicana and Mexicana literature.

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