Synopses & Reviews
During the last two decades of the twentieth century, U.S. Latina writers have made a profound impact on American letters with fiction in both mainstream and regional venues. Following on the heels of this vibrant and growing body of work, New Latina Narrative offers the first in-depth synthesis and literary analysis of this transethnic genre. Focusing on the dynamic writing published in the 1980s and 1990s by Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban American, and Domincan American women, New Latina Narrative illustrates how these writers have redefined the concepts of multiculturalism and diversity in American society. As participants in both mainstream and grassroots forms of multiculturalism, these new Latina narrativists have created a feminine space within postmodern ethnicity, disrupting the idealistic veneer of diversity with which publishers often market this fiction. In this groundbreaking study, author Ellen McCracken opens the conventional boundaries of Latino/a literary criticism, incorporating elements of cultural studies theory and contemporary feminism. Emphasizing the diversity within new Latina narrative, McCracken discusses the works of more than two dozen writers, including Julia Alvarez, Denise Chávez, Sandra Cisneros, Cristina Garcia, Graciela Limón, Demetria Martínez, Pat Mora, Cherríe Moraga, Mary Helen Ponce, and Helena María Viramontes. She stresses such themes as the resignification of master narrative, the autobiographical self and collective identity, popular religiosity, subculture and transgression, and narrative harmony and dissonance. New Latina Narrative provides readers an enriched basis for reconceiving the overall Latino/a literary field and its relation to other contemporary literary and cultural trends. McCracken's original approach extends the Latina literary canon—both the works to be studied and the issues to be examined—resulting in a valuable work for all readers of women's studies, contemporary American literature, ethnic studies, communications, and sociology.
About the Author
Ellen McCracken is Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portugeuse at the University of California-Santa Barbara.