#BookReview of CONTEMPORARY #CHICANA LITERATURE by journal Contemporary Women’s Writing

Cambria Press Publisher Author Review Publications
“The strengths of Herrera’s work are undeniable.” – Contemporary Women’s Writing (Oxford)

Cambria Press is pleased to announce that Contemporary Chicana Literature: (Re)Writing the Maternal Script has been reviewed in the journal Contemporary Women’s Writing (published by Oxford University Press), and we congratulate Dr. Cristina Herrera on the outstanding book review.

The review states that “The strengths of Herrera’s work are undeniable. She offers insightful and nuanced interpretations of selected canonical Chicana writers […] focused on the interlocking structure of discriminatory discourses of classism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. Indeed, her discussion of queer Chicana motherhood and patriarchal heterosexism […] offers a very productive model for critically embedding queer representations of sexual and gender formation in the context of allied ‘straight’ texts. […] Herrera questions in important ways the matrix of discursive oppression that has historically shaped Chicana identities, while illuminating the potential for empowerment in creative rewritings of this script.”

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The works which Dr. Herrera discusses are (along with brief descriptions) include:

  • Denise Chavez’s Face of Angel (1994): Described by Publishers Weekly as “an updated Pilgrim’s Progress with a Chicana feminist twist” where “there is never a dull moment in this rich polyphonic novel.”
  • Ana Castillo’s The Guardians (2007): the book section of Boston.com praises this “fifth novel [by] the award-winning poet, novelist, playwright, and essayist, [which] continues to mine history and make metaphors, fixing her critical eye on the treacherous divide between Mexico and the United States and the psychological and physical fallout of the illegal movement of humans, drugs, and money between Mexico and the so-called Land of Gold just beyond its northern border.
  • Sandra Cisneros’s Caramelo (2002): The Guardian describes this book as “a densely worked generational saga structured as a triptych linked by the voice of Celaya” that portrays “traditional Mexican femininity, in which girls are invisible until they become women, marry and procreate, whereupon they return to invisibility. In addition to the showing difficulties for Mexican women in contemporary America, it also “finds an echo in the simultaneous frustrations of being immigrants, working class, the wrong color and poor.”
  • Carla Trujillo’s What Night Brings (2003): The description from Amazon.com states that this is about a Chicano working-class family living in California during the 1960s in which the protagonist her family and God in order to find her identity, sexuality and freedom.
  • Melinda Palacio’s Ocotillo Dreams (2011): From Amazon.com’ s description : “Set in Chandler, Arizona, during the city’s infamous 1997 migrant sweeps, this riveting tale brings to life the social issues that arise from border policy and economic inequity.” Publishers Weekly states that this book “reveals a vibrantly painted desert culture of fragile beauty and uncompromising harshness.”

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