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An in-depth examination of contemporary Chicana writers

Home Girls

Chicana Literary Voices

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Alvina E. Quintana

"Home Girls makes an original, bold, and significant contribution to feminist studies, Chicana/o studies, and literature. Quintana accomplishes what few critics in Chicana/o studies have done: she applies different interpretive paradigms to her reading of Chicana texts, blending ethnography with literary criticism, ideological analysis with semiotics. Her reading of literary texts is rich in texture and detail."
Rosa Linda Fregoso, author of Bronze Screen: Chicana and Chicano Film Culture

Chicana writers in the United States write to inspire social change, to challenge a patriarchal and homophobic culture, to redefine traditional gender roles, to influence the future. Alvina E. Quintana examines how Chicana writers engage literary convention through fiction, poetry, drama, and autobiography as a means of addressing these motives.

Her analysis of the writings of Gloria Anzaldua, Ana Castillo, Denise Chavez, Sandra Cisneros, and Cherrie Moraga addresses a multitude of issues: the social and political forces that influenced the Chicana aesthetic; Chicana efforts to open a dialogue about the limitation of both Anglo-American feminism and Chicano nationalism; experimentations with content and form; the relationship between imaginative writing and self-reflexive ethnography; and performance, domesticity, and sexuality.

Employing anthropological, feminist, historical, and literary sources, Quintana explores the continuity found among Chicanas writing across varied genres—a drive to write themselves into being.

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Reviews

"Quintana... argues for the recognition of a Chicana experience and poetics distinct from those of mainstream feminists and from the androcentric Chicano literary movement. Working from a cultural studies orientation, Quintana's position reflects a neo-Marxist understanding of materiality as the basis of analysis."
College Literature

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Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Testimonio as Biotheory
1. Politics, Representation, and Emergence of Chicana Aesthetics
2. Classical Rifts: The Fugue and Chicana Poetics
3. The House on Mango Street: An Appropriation of Word, Space, and Sign
4. Shades of the Indigenous Ethnographer: Ana Castillo's Mixquiahuala Letters
5. Orality, Tradition, and Culture: Denise Chavez's Novena Narrativas and The Last of the Menu Girls
6. New Visions: Culture, Sexuality, and Autobiography
Notes
Index

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About the Author(s)

Alvina E. Quintana is Associate Professor of English at the University of Delaware.

Subject Categories

American Studies
Latino/a Studies
Literature and Drama

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