An in-depth examination of contemporary Chicana writers
Chicana Literary Voices
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Alvina E. Quintana
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 genresa drive to write themselves into being.
"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."
Alvina E. Quintana is Associate Professor of English at the University of Delaware.