The Literary Life and Work of Margarita Cota-Cárdenas
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
José R. Flores
Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs
Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez
Kirsten F. Nigro
Margarita E. Pignataro
Tey Diana Rebolledo
“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