Literatures of the Americas

Geographies of Girlhood in US Latina Writing

Decolonizing Spaces and Identities

Authors: García, Andrea Fernández

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  • Advances new ways of thinking about the coming-of-age narrative by Latina writers
  • Interrogates deep-rooted beliefs and perceptions about othered identities in Western societies
  • Provides readers with a view of literature featuring Latina girls that departs from simplistic and stereotypical views of Latina identities
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-20107-4
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About this book

This book is an in-depth study of Latina girls, portrayed in five coming-of-age narratives by using spaces and places as hermeneutical tools. The texts under study here are Julia Alvarez’s Return to Sender (2009), Norma E. Cantú’s Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera (1995), Mary Helen Ponce’s Hoyt Street: An Autobiography (1993), and Esmeralda Santiago’s When I Was Puerto Rican (1993) and Almost a Woman (1998). Unlike most representations of Latina girls, which are characterized by cultural inaccuracies, tropes of exoticism, and a tendency to associate the host society with modernity and their girls’ cultures of origin with backwardness and oppression, these texts contribute to reimagining the social differently from what the dominant imagery offers. 
By illustrating the vexing phenomena the characters have to negotiate on a daily basis (such as racism, sexism, and displacement), these narratives open avenues for a critical exploration of the legacies of colonial modernity. This book, therefore, not only enables an analysis of how the girls’ development is shaped by these structures of power, but also shows how such legacies are reversed as the characters negotiate their identities. It breaks with the longstanding characterization of young people, and especially Latina girls, as voiceless and deprived of agency, showing readers that this youth group also has say in controlling their lifeworlds.

About the authors

Andrea Fernández García is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Oviedo, Spain. She has presented papers in conferences held in Spain, Slovakia, USA, Canada and Romania. She has taught courses on English as a second language, Twentieth-century English literature and American literature and culture.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-8

    Fernández-García, Andrea

  • Latina Girlhood: Questions of Identity and Representation

    Pages 9-52

    Fernández-García, Andrea

  • Space of Flows vs. Space of Places: Negotiating the Paradoxes of a Global Age in Julia Alvarez’s Return to Sender

    Pages 53-85

    Fernández-García, Andrea

  • Life on the Mexico-US Border: Femininity, Transborderism, and the Reinscription of Boundaries in Norma E. Cantú’s Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera

    Pages 87-126

    Fernández-García, Andrea

  • The Barrio as a Hybrid Space: Growing Up Between Nationalism and Feminism in Mary Helen Ponce’s Hoyt Street: An Autobiography

    Pages 127-154

    Fernández-García, Andrea

Buy this book

eBook $59.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-20107-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
Hardcover $74.99
price for USA

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Geographies of Girlhood in US Latina Writing
Book Subtitle
Decolonizing Spaces and Identities
Authors
Series Title
Literatures of the Americas
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-20107-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-20107-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-20106-7
Series ISSN
2634-601X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 198
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics