Contemporary Chicana Literature: (Re)Writing the Maternal by Cristina Herrera

By Cristina Herrera

Regardless of the becoming literary scholarship on Chicana writers, few, if any, stories have exhaustively explored issues of motherhood, maternity, and mother-daughter relationships of their novels. whilst discussions of motherhood and mother-daughter relationships do ensue in literary scholarship, they have a tendency to quite often be a backdrop to a bigger dialog on topics reminiscent of id, area, and sexuality, for instance. Mother-daughter relationships were overlooked in a lot literary feedback, yet this e-book unearths that maternal relationships are the most important to the learn of Chicana literature; extra accurately, analyzing maternal relationships offers perception to Chicana writers' rejection of intersecting energy constructions that another way silence Chicanas and ladies of colour. This e-book advances the sector of Chicana literary scholarship via a dialogue of Chicana writers' efforts to re-write the script of maternity outdoor of latest discourses that situate Chicana moms as silent and passive and the next mother-daughter dating as a resource of anxiety and angst. Chicana writers are actively engaged within the strategy of re-writing motherhood that resists identical to the static, disempowered Chicana mom; however, those similar writers have interaction in extensive representations of Chicana mother-daughter relationships that aren't in basic terms a resource of clash but in addition a way during which either moms and daughters may possibly in attaining subjectivity. whereas a number of the texts studied do current usually conflicted relationships among moms and their daughters, the novels don't conveniently settle for this script because the rule; relatively, the writers incorporated during this research are hugely invested in re-writing Chicana motherhood as a resource of empowerment whilst their works current strained maternal relationships. Chicana writers have challenged the pervasiveness of the problematical virgin/whore binary which has been the motif on which Chicana womanhood/motherhood has been outlined, and so they face up to the development of maternity on such slim phrases. a few of the novels integrated during this research actively foreground a awake resistance to the proscribing binaries of motherhood symbolized within the virgin/whore cut up. The writers seriously demand a rethinking of motherhood past this scope as a way to discover the empowering probabilities of maternal relationships. This ebook is a crucial contribution to the fields of Chicana/Latina and American literary scholarship.

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Novels such as The Block Captain’s Daughter (2012), Esperanza’s Box of Saints (1999), and So Far from God (1993) by the Chicana writers Demetria Martínez, María Amparo Escandón, and Ana Castillo, respectively, as well as two novels, Soledad (2001) and Let it Rain Coffee (2005) by the Dominican American writer Angie Cruz, utilize maternal voices. Cherríe Moraga’s 1997 memoir, Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood, is a significant contribution to this mother-writer tradition for which Malin called.

For such writers, the kitchen is not necessarily a hindrance to the creation of art; rather, it is this space that opens the possibility for empowered writing and a bold voice. See Marshall for a discussion of the working-class African American and Afro-Caribbean women she admired as a young girl, whom she has called “kitchen poets” because of their animated, critical discussions that occurred in the kitchens of her mother’s friends. Tey Diana Rebolledo’s study Women Singing in the Snow also comments on the significance of the kitchen in Chicana literature.

For a discussion of Chicana feminist activism and its links to women of color feminism, see Alma García’s edited collection, Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings (1997). 13. See O’Reilly for further discussion of the subversive power of loving black children. 14. Seen, for example, in Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s Desert Blood (2005) and the fiction of Alma Luz Villanueva, most notably her novel Luna’s California Poppies (2002) and her collection of stories, La Llorona and Other Stories (1994).

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