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Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature written by Tey Diana Rebolledo

 

Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature written by Tey Diana Rebolledo

Overview:

Given the explosive creativity shown by Chicana writers over the past two decades, this first major anthology devoted to their work is a major contribution to American letters. It highlights the key issues, motifs, and concerns of Mexican American women from 1848 to the present, and particularly reflects the modern Chicana's struggle for identity. Among the recurring themes in the collection is a re-visioning of foremothers such as the historical Malinche, the mythical Llorona, and pioneering women who settled the American Southwest from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries. Also included are historical documents on the lives, culture, and writings of Mexican American women in the nineteenth century, as well as oral histories recorded by the Federal Writers Project in the 1930s. Through poetry, fiction, drama, essay, and other forms, this landmark volume showcases the talents of more than fifty authors, including Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Ana Castillo, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Denise Chávez, Sandra Cisneros, Pat Mora, Cherríe Moraga, and María Helena Viramontes.

Searching and assertive, Chicana literature embraces poetry, fiction, drama, essay, and other forms. This first major anthology devoted to the genre is organized by themes that highlight the key issues, motifs, and concerns of Mexican American women from 1848 to the present and features selections from over 60 contributors.

Synopsis:

Given the explosive creativity shown by Chicana writers over the past two decades, this first major anthology devoted to their work is a major contribution to American letters. It highlights the key issues, motifs, and concerns of Mexican American women from 1848 to the present, and particularly reflects the modern Chicana's struggle for identity. Among the recurring themes in the collection is a re-visioning of foremothers such as the historical Malinche, the mythical Llorona, and pioneering women who settled the American Southwest from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries. Also included are historical documents on the lives, culture, and writings of Mexican American women in the nineteenth century, as well as oral histories recorded by the Federal Writers Project in the 1930s. Through poetry, fiction, drama, essay, and other forms, this landmark volume showcases the talents of more than fifty authors, including Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Ana Castillo, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Denise Chávez, Sandra Cisneros, Pat Mora, Cherríe Moraga, and María Helena Viramontes.

Publishers Weekly

Rebolledo and Rivera, who teach Spanish at the University of New Mexico, offer an intriguing but ultimately unsatisfying collection of poetry and prose by Mexican-American women. An excellent introduction provides a critical overview and helps put the pieces in their historical and literary context. The works reflect the development of a Chicana consciousness from its first seeds until the present. A section on ``foremothers'' collects oral and written pieces dating back to the 19th century. In one, from 1877, an aged widow recalls the deviously charitable way some priests got her a job. Sandra Cisneros, Alma Villanueva and Gloria Anzaldua provide numerous selections each, as do up-and-coming writers, such as Ines Hernandez or Marina Rivera, who offers a meditation on what it means to be of mixed blood. The title comes from Bernice Zamora's fine Whitmanesque poem about the infinitely divisible nature of identity. The pieces, however, are far too brief; most are mere snippets. Thus the editors merely whet the appetite but fail in their intention to make available hard-to-find Chicana literature. (June)

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Title: Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature

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