La Plonqui

The Literary Life and Work of Margarita Cota-Cárdenas

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Celebrating more than forty years of creative writing by Chicana author Margarita Cota-Cárdenas, this volume includes critical essays, reflections, interviews, and previously unpublished writing by the author herself to document the lifelong craft and legacy of a pioneering writer in the field.

Nicknamed “La Plonky” by her family after a made-up childhood song, Cota-Cárdenas grew up in California, taught almost exclusively in Arizona, and produced five major works (two novels and three books of poetry) that offer an expansive literary production spanning from the 1960s to today. Her perspectives on Chicana identity, the Chicanx movement, and the sociopolitical climate of Arizona and the larger U.S.-Mexico border region represent a significant contribution to the larger body of Chicanx literature. Additionally, the volume explores her perspectives on issues of gender, sexuality, and identity related to the Chicanx experience over time.

Divided into three major parts, this collection begins with an introduction, followed by two testimonial essays written by the author herself and a longtime colleague, as well as an interview with the author. The second section contains nine essays by well-established literary critics that analyze Cota-Cárdenas’s literary output within a Chicano Movement literary context and offer new readings of Cota-Cárdenas’s fiction and poetry. The third part presents poetry and fiction from Cota-Cárdenas, including an excerpt from a work in progress. As a whole, the collection aims to affirm Margarita Cota-Cárdenas’s significant role in shaping the field of Chicana literature and emphasizes the importance of honoring a celebrated author who wrote a majority of her works in Spanish—one of the few Chicana writers to do so.

Laura Elena Belmonte
Margarita Cota-Cárdenas
José R. Flores
Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez
Carolyn González
Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs
Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez
Kirsten F. Nigro
Margarita E. Pignataro
Tey Diana Rebolledo
Jesús Rosales
Charles St-Georges
Javier Villarreal
“In their expansive and impressive volume, Jesús Rosales and Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez remind us why Margarita Cota-Cárdenas remains one of las ‘meras meras’ of Chicana letters. This book pays homage to a trailblazing Chicana writer whose works cross the English/Spanish linguistic divide through rich, creative genre play. With scholarship by emerging and established scholars, La Plonqui: The Literary Life and Work of Margarita Cota-Cárdenas will serve as the benchmark volume on one of the most important Chicana writers of our generation.”—Cristina Herrera, co-author of Latinx Teens: U.S. Popular Culture on the Page, Stage, and Screen

“This is the book I have been waiting for regarding the writing of Cota-Cárdenas. It is accessible, insightful, and full of gems for those of us who love Latinx literature and her work.”—Juan Velasco-Moreno, author of Collective Identity and Cultural Resistance in Contemporary Chicana/o Autobiography

La Plonqui is 'an act of love' for the community that Chicana author Dr. Margarita 'La Plonqui' Cota-Cárdenas creates on the page and within her querencia. Her work's impact spans over 40 years throughout the Southwest US, principally in Arizona. Highly recommended.”—S. L. Rottschafer,CHOICE Connect
La Plonqui
256 Pages 6 x 9
Published: September 2023Paperback ISBN: 9780816550173
Published: September 2023Hardcover ISBN: 9780816551323
Published: September 2023Ebook ISBN: 9780816550180

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