Contemporary Spanish American Novels by Women

Contemporary Spanish American Novels by Women

Mapping the Narrative

Susan E. Carvalho


Tamesis Books



A reading of contemporary women's fiction in Spanish America in which space, rather than time, is seen as the driver of the narrative.
Space is critical to imaginative writing. As English novelist Elizabeth Bowen has observed: 'nothing can happen nowhere'. This book offers an interdisciplinary framework for reading novels, and in particular women's fiction in Spanish America, with a focus on geoplot, on space rather than time as the narrative engine. Following the work of Lefebvre and Friedman, the author examines recent works by Spanish America's most visible women novelists - Angeles Mastretta (Mexico), Isabel Allende (Chile), Rosario Ferré (Puerto Rico), Sara Sefchovich (Mexico) and Laura Restrepo (Colombia) -and the ways in which their female protagonists challenge the spatial barriers erected by capitalist hegemony. Margins, borders, liminal spaces, the chora-space, and the body are emphasized as potential sites of transgression. The analysis identifies spatial negotiation as a mechanism both for cementing and for undermining authority, thus exposing the strategies through which literature constructs and represents power.

SUSAN CARVALHO is Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Kentucky, and Director of the Middlebury College Spanish School.


June 2007
208 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855661424
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Tamesis Books
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Table of Contents

Textual Situations: At the Crossroads of Literature and Geography
In the Commercial Pipelines: Restrepo's La novia oscura
Captured on Film: Allende's Retrato en sepia
Grounded: Ferré's Flight of the Swan
In the Garden: Sara Sefchovich's Demasiado amor
Revolutionary Paths: Mastretta's Mal de amores


A ground-breaking synthesis of locational feminism, cultural geographies, and the strategies by which five of Spanish America's most widely read women authors construct identity and question societal hierarchies through the negotiation of space, power, and agency. The author (...) provides a compelling study. (...) This study is a valuable resource for graduate students and scholars, non-Hispanists included, who are interested in interdisciplinary and/or geographic approaches to contemporary literatures. The substance of its first two chapters and its significant bibliography together synthesize two decades of vital writings on feminism, postcoloniality, and transnationalism with more recent work on cultural geographies and the body, offering a unified framework for space- and place-based approaches to literature. CONTEMPORARY WOMEN'S WRITING
Carvalho's interdisciplinary study on place and space in literary works A valuable addition to critical works on Spanish American women's writing. BRITISH BULLETIN OF PUBLICATIONS
brings to the fore the importance of research across disciplines and offers an excellent theoretical approach for additional research in women's literature. BULLETIN OF SPANISH STUDIES,
A well written and illuminating study (.) which will be of interest to many students and scholars in the field of Latin American literary and cultural studies. BULLETIN OF HISPANIC STUDIES

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