Post-War Spanish Women Novelists and the Recuperation of Historical Memory

July 2014
235 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855662742
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Tamesis Books
BISAC LIT004280, LIT004290

Post-War Spanish Women Novelists and the Recuperation of Historical Memory

Patricia O'Byrne

Reconstructs through testimonial literature the repression of women during the Franco years and recovers the writings of some of the forgotten post-war women novelists.
The passing of Spain's Law of Historical Memory (2007) marked the official recognition of the need to confront a violent and painful past. Article 2 makes reference to specific groups who experienced discrimination including religious and ethnic communities; no reference is made to the gender repression endured by women, enforced by a patriarchal regime through its legislation and policies, with the active support of the Church and the Women's Section of the Falange.
Revised narratives of the period that have emerged in recent decades have raised issues in relation to the reliability and selectivity of memory, and its ongoing mediation by intervening events. While documentary sources of the period are prejudicial, cotemporaneous post-war testimonial novels provide an invaluable resource in reconstructing the past, particularly the novels of women writers. This book draws on their narrative to reconstruct the female experience of the post-war years and in particular on the writings of novelists whose work has undeservedly been disregarded. Neither the experience of women under Franco nor the narrative of women writers of the period should be forgotten.

Patricia O'Byrne lectures in Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature at Dublin City University.

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Table of Contents

Spanish Women Novelists 1940-1960
Ángeles Villarta Tuñón
Susana March Alcalá
Carmen Laforet
Rosa María Cajal
Carmen Kurtz
Works Cited


Patricia O'Byrne's study of five female Spanish novelists publishing in the 1940s and 1950s makes a most valuable contribution to our understanding of women's lives during these early decades of the Franco dictatorship. This highly recommended study fleshes out an overlooked chapter in postwar Spain's cultural histories and foregrounds the complexities, connections and divergences of a fascinating literary cohort that is undergoing an overdue revival in contemporary scholarship. BULLETIN OF SPANISH STUDIES

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