New Latina Narrative
The Feminine Space of Postmodern Ethnicity
During the last two decades of the twentieth century, U.S. Latina writers have made a profound impact on American letters with fiction in both mainstream and regional venues. Following on the heels of this vibrant and growing body of work, New Latina Narrative offers the first in-depth synthesis and literary analysis of this transethnic genre. Focusing on the dynamic writing published in the 1980s and 1990s by Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban American, and Domincan American women, New Latina Narrative illustrates how these writers have redefined the concepts of multiculturalism and diversity in American society. As participants in both mainstream and grassroots forms of multiculturalism, these new Latina narrativists have created a feminine space within postmodern ethnicity, disrupting the idealistic veneer of diversity with which publishers often market this fiction. In this groundbreaking study, author Ellen McCracken opens the conventional boundaries of Latino/a literary criticism, incorporating elements of cultural studies theory and contemporary feminism. Emphasizing the diversity within new Latina narrative, McCracken discusses the works of more than two dozen writers, including Julia Alvarez, Denise Chávez, Sandra Cisneros, Cristina Garcia, Graciela Limón, Demetria Martínez, Pat Mora, Cherríe Moraga, Mary Helen Ponce, and Helena María Viramontes. She stresses such themes as the resignification of master narrative, the autobiographical self and collective identity, popular religiosity, subculture and transgression, and narrative harmony and dissonance. New Latina Narrative provides readers an enriched basis for reconceiving the overall Latino/a literary field and its relation to other contemporary literary and cultural trends. McCracken's original approach extends the Latina literary canon—both the works to be studied and the issues to be examined—resulting in a valuable work for all readers of women's studies, contemporary American literature, ethnic studies, communications, and sociology.
"Refreshingly, Ellen McCracken focuses largely on the concrete—specifically narrative point of view and technique—to reveal just how much crossover U.S. Latina fiction signifies on the male dominated Euro-white canons and subjects. We come away not only convinced but also with tools we can then apply to our own analysis of Latino/a literature." Aztlan"The book-a 'melting pot' of names, titles, and diverse preoccupations of Latina women writers in the U.S.-is a pleasure to read and promises to lead to further explorations of Latin-American women writers. . . . Informative and well-written." International Fiction Review