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Ambivalence, Modernity, Power

Women and Writing in Mexico since 1980

Nuala Teresa Finnegan

This book takes as its starting point the boom femenino or the explosion in publishing by women in Mexico since the 1980s. Powerful changes in women’s roles in Mexico over the last three decades have resulted in women occupying a position of profound ambivalence with regard to the processes of modernisation. The boom femenino constitutes an integral part of this process of change. By incorporating a variety of critical approaches within a feminist framework, the author argues that Mexican women writers participate in a crucial project of unsettling dominant discourses as they strive for new ways of capturing the ambivalent position of the Mexican women in their texts. The author offers close readings of work by Silvia Molina, Sara Sefchovich, Susana Págano, Brianda Domecq, Guadalupe Loaeza and Rosamaría Roffiel. She also considers the reactions to and reception of best-selling author, Angeles Mastretta, with an assessment of the different vested interests in the world of literature, including those of critics, writers, readers and publishers.
Contents: Women’s writing in Mexico (Boom femenino) – Ambivalence, modernity and power – Position of women within modernising power structures – Place, nation and history - women’s ambivalent positioning as national subjects – Narrative and authority - intertextuality and canon formation – Popular fiction - light literature and the backlash towards the ‘popular’, effects of globalisation on publishing – Class, gender and feminism - Second Wave Feminism and its legacy – Transnational spaces and postcolonial theory - alternative ways of identity formation.