Printer Friendly

Women Writers of Latin America: Intimate Histories.

This collection of interviews with ten distinguished contemporary Latin American women writers is intended as an introduction for the English-speaking public. The interviews, conducted in 1983 in New York, Washington, D.C., and Mexico City, present Isabel Allende (Chile), Albalucia Angel (Colombia), Rosario Ferre (Puerto Rico), Margo Glantz and Elena Poniatowska (Mexico), Sylvia Molloy, Elvira Orphee, and Luisa Valenzuela (Argentina), Ida Vitale (Uruguay), and Marta Traba (Argentina and Colombia).

Garcia Pinto generally follows a grid of questions when interviewing each author, beginning with a question about the woman's childhood and family history. Each writer is given the opportunity to discuss her reading and writing habits as a child, and then to relate her professional development, which for more than half of the women began with a career in journalism. At this point in the interview there is a lengthy discussion of the author's works including her reception by the reading public, with reference to translations and popularity abroad. Considerable discussion is devoted to the writer's oeuvre, interspersed with quotations (in translation) from individual works to illustrate a point or supplement an argument. The question of literary influence and the writer's preferences in reading are addressed, frequently revealing astonishing similarities among these authors. The importance of the feminist movement is unanimously applauded, but the women disagree as to whether a women's literary language exists. Many of the writers spent an inordinate amount of time reading as children, often due to illness or other circumstances. The striking frequency of bi- and trilingualism shared among the women, the result of multinational upbringing, school, and/or travel, certainly contributes to their profession as writers and translators.

An attractive illumination by Karen Parker Lears precedes each interview and a selected list of published works, including translations, appends this volume. Intimate Histories should appeal to a reading audience beyond those concentrating on women's writing as the interviews inevitably reveal much concerning the recent cultural and political history of Latin America.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Review of Contemporary Fiction
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Hoffman-Jeep, Lynda
Publication:The Review of Contemporary Fiction
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1993
Previous Article:Manuscripts Don't Burn: A Life in Letters and Diaries.
Next Article:Double Agent: The Critic and Society.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters