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Exploring the work of six notable authors, Understanding Contemporary Chicana Literature reveals characteristic themes, images, and stylistic devices that make contemporary Chicana writing a vibrant and innovative part of a burgeoning Latina creativity. Describing Chicana literature as a quest for self-definition, Deborah L. Madsen provides close readings...
Exploring the work of six notable authors, Understanding Contemporary Chicana Literature reveals characteristic themes, images, and stylistic devices that make contemporary Chicana writing a vibrant and innovative part of a burgeoning Latina creativity. Describing Chicana literature as a quest for self-definition, Deborah L. Madsen provides close readings of the poetry, prose, novels, and short fiction of Bernice Zamora, Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, Denise Chavez, Alma Luz Villaneuva, and Lorna Dee Cervantes. Madsen identifies the historical, social, and feminist ties among these writers and examines in detail the development of a distinctive feminine ethnic-racial voice.In her assessment of this literature's place in the contemporary renaissance of ethnic women's writing, Madsen explains its context, including the definitions of such key terms as "Chicano" and "Chicana", the historical relationship between the civil rights movement and the Chicano movement, and the relationship between feminism and Chicana literary expression. Madsen analyzes the concerns shared by these authors, including hybrid cultural identity and the experience of fragmentary subjectivity; the patriarchal control of feminine sexuality; memory and inherited feminine role models such as La Virgen, La Malinche, and La Llorona; the connection between gender oppression and racial and class oppression; and the use of innovative literary forms.
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