Latina Writers

Writing in the Latin world began to take shape even before Christopher Columbus came to this part of the world. In precolonial times, Latin American literature was founded on oral communication. Following colonization of the region and further developments in the Latino world, literature in this region evolved significantly.

During this evolution, women writers emerged as important contributors to Latin American literature. Through time, Latin American literature has created debate and discussion of the life in this part of the world, including the cultural struggles of the indigenous and minority groups of the region.

Latina women writers follow a similar path, but they additionally identify the challenges of women in this region. The style of the Latina woman writer is persuasive, yet articulate. This style demonstrates the writers' passion for their heritage rooted in history, love for the region and overall Latin American identity. Many analysts believe that a lot of the style of Latina women writers is based around the expression and questioning of their identity, which analysts believe is derived from the historical ways in which Latin Americans and Latina women, in particular, were treated historically. Latina women were somewhat marginalized in society, and this caused them to feel less significant than their male counterparts. This is a common trend across the female population throughout generations. Evidence of this marginalization can be found in a number of international cultures. This prejudice, written into the literature, became an important element of the literature produced by Latina women.

Latin America has gone through numerous changes through the centuries. From colonial times, various groups entered the countries of Latin America and endangered the local culture of Latin American people. In the late 1800s, the United States did the same thing to Mexico and Puerto Rico when it took over these lands. These events were well-documented in Latin American literature, and Latina women contributed to these works. The majority of publications were developed by male writers, but women always played an important role in traditional Latina culture. Decades after the United States expanded into Latin America, Latina women writers began to surface detailing their experiences during this difficult period in Latin American history.

At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, Latina women writers began to find a voice through the popularity of their literature in American society. Critics have stated that Latina women writers have contributed to a number of the works of American authors. Many historians believe, from reviewing the works of historical American authors, that United States literature has roots that go beyond American influence. As literature evolves, it also tends to be influenced by a female perspective presenting a holistic versus singular perspective of events. Latina women writers have contributed to this shift in writing style.

In the 1990s, Julia Alvarez, as well as a number of other Latina women writers, raised the profile of Latina literature to the general public, especially in the Americas. Alvarez created a movement that supported Latina women writers so they could develop a new genre of literature. This public profile helped to raise the perception and reputation of the Latina woman writer, leading to more global attention.

The term Latina has evolved significantly, due to migration and cross-cultural influences. There are different varieties of Latina women writers, and all of them exhibit their own style in writing. Often Latina women writers are viewed as a group with common characteristics. Although their style does have a number of common elements, including historical significance and romantic style, culture leads to variations in the writing.

In the 21st century, Latina women writers are dramatically influencing American literature. Latina women writers often tell stories of the less fortunate in society -- often women -- and this transcends borders. Their ability to create stories that stimulate debate and are dynamic in nature pushes the boundaries of other authors in the Western world. Their Latina perspective provides insight into the literature and offers readers a new outlook on the story.

Latina Writers: Selected full-text books and articles

Latina Writers By Ilan Stavans Greenwood Press, 2008
Latin American Women's Writing: Feminist Readings in Theory and Crisis By Anny Brooksbank Jones; Catherine Davies Clarendon Press, 1996
Show and Tell: Identity as Performance in U.S. Latina/o Fiction By Karen Christian University of New Mexico Press, 1997
Critical Acts: Latin American Women and Cultural Criticism By Elizabeth A. Marchant University Press of Florida, 1999
Latinos in English: A Selected Bibliography of Latino Fiction Writers of the United States By Hilda Mundo-Lopez; Harold Augenbraum; Terry Quinn Mercantile Library, 1992
After Aztlan: Latino Poets of the Nineties By Ray González David R. Godine, 1992
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Latin American Women Dramatists: Theater, Texts, and Theories By Catherine Larson; Margarita Vargas Indiana University Press, 1998
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