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Beyond the Border: A New Age in Latin American Women's Fiction [Paperback]

Elena Poniatowska , Nora Erro-Peralta , Caridad Silva
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 27 2002
This collection of 15 vibrant short stories showcases a rich and important body of fiction by Latin American women, including acclaimed writers such as Isabel Allende and Luisa Valenzuela as well as dynamic new voices. Ranging across boundaries of geography and gender, the stories deal with a variety of subjects -- incest, race, politics, sexual needs, love, old age, and child abuse -- and incorporate a variety of narrative forms.

This edition features a new foreword by the celebrated Mexican author Elena Poniatowska, a new story by Nelida Pinon, winner of the prestigious Rulfo Award, and a new critical introduction that highlights the history of Latin American women's writing from the 16th century to the present. Also included are a commentary on each story, biographical sketches of each author, and an updated annotated bibliography of Latin American women writers.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This collection of short fiction by contemporary Latin American women concerns travel "beyond the border" in two senses. It presents work by writers who, with the exception of Isabel Allende and Luisa Valenzuela, are largely unknown to English-language readers. In addition, its strongest stories deal with characters propelled beyond the boundaries of familiar experience. In "A Passion for Donna Summer" by Dominican Aida Cartagena Portalatin, the voice of the '70s disco diva exhorts a black girl to abandon her Catholic boarding school. She does, only to make the bitter discovery that her will to freedom, like Summer's music, is subverted by the strictures of a racist society. The narrator in Uruguayan Sylvia Lago's heartbreaking "Homelife" recounts how her husband's involvement with the mysterious Felipe ends in the destruction of her family and drives her from nearly everything she knows. These works set a high standard which, unfortunately, not all the pieces meet. Nevertheless, in collecting the stories and supplying bibliographies on the authors, the editors--academics in the field of Hispanic and Latin American studies--have made a valuable contribution.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Latin American women's fiction has received a great deal more recognition in the nine years since the first edition of this anthology. The new edition offers qualitative yardsticks as well, revealing that these writers are moving toward experimental literature and away from traditional, stereotypical concerns with domestic life, marriage, education, and other issues. There are even some militant feminist stories. Each story is followed by a bibliography, and the work concludes with a general bibliography and a second list of women writers not collected here. Strong stories come from well-known writers like Isabel Allende, Elena Poniatowska, and Luisa Valenzuela, and this volume also breaks a barrier by including stories from Brazilians Lygia Fagundes Telles and N lida Pi$on. It is hoped that nations other than Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Cuba will be better represented in future editions, as the canon becomes more accepting of Latin American literature, whether male or female. For all academic and public libraries.DRene Perez-Lopez, Norfolk P.L., VA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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4.0 out of 5 stars BEYOND May 1 2001
This book has incredible stories that have hidden meaning in them. The stories are fun to read and very engaging. The stories are humorous if read just for leisure.On the other hand, for a serious literature student or person, the stories have a lot to offer when critically analysed. They talk about women and how they fit in the society. Overall, I think Beyond the Border is a great book and people should definately ready it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Border May 1 2001
I am a student at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. We were required to read a few of the short stories that make up the novel Beyond the Border edited by Nora Erro-Peralta and Caridad Silva. This novel made up of series of short stories by women writers of Latin America. Beyond the Border was one of the chosen readings for our class because we are studying about the history of women and how things have changed for them in Latin America. Before each story, a brief bibliography is given of the author, which helps give insight as to where the writer is coming from. It is also helpful in the fact that it gives specific details about the culture that you are going to read about. This is helpful for those of us who may not know a lot about other cultures so we can see into other's lives. Each short story is a twisted web of events that all incorporates the lives of females in Latin America. Stories come to us from Peru, the Dominican Republic, and many other countries, all showing uniqueness in their individual stories. To read this book, you have to be open-minded and adopt a new way of reading books. Many of the stories have several stories found within them, and as a class, many had difficulty with complexity of the stories. Although I have yet to read all the stories found in Beyond the Border I feel that this is a book that I will hold onto.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Border May 1 2001
Beyond the Border, a collection of short stories by number of Latin American women authors, is an excellent source of hints to the culture of Latin America. I was very fortunate to read a number of short stories from this book for my Women's Culture from Latin America class at ISU in Normal, IL. After some time of study of Latin America's culture, I was able to get more meaning out of what I read. For example, the short story Mercedes-Benz 220SL, by Rosario Ferre, tells the story that teaches us about the impact of patriarchy and materialism on the family. Ferre uses punctuation, narriation, reoccurring themes, and imagery to paint a picture of the role of men and women in Latin America. Another short story, The Wedding, by Lucia Fox, takes the reader through the thoughts of a friend of the bride, who doesn't seem to be a clueless as everyone else. She points out how her friends fall blindly into typical female roles found in Latin American culture. In this story, Fox uses flashbacks and imagery to leave a lot of room for interpretation. The reader is forced to use their creativity to create their own interpretation. These two stories are just examples of the powerful stories found in the book. I highly recomend Beyond the Border to those both fammiliar and umfammiliar with Latin American culture.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Latin American Women May 1 2001
In a class I am now taking we read Beyond the Border, edited by Erro-Peralta and Caridad Silva. Throughout this class we have been studying Latin American culture and issues dealing with women. I am not the type of person who likes to sit down and read a whole book, which is why this book was great for me. Beyond the Border is a collection of short stories written by a variety of women writers from Latin America. Throughout these stories there are reoccurring themes of patriarcy, motherhood, and gender roles. In each of these short stories all of these themes can be seen. These stories allow you to dig deep into the text and see the lives of Latin American women through their eyes. This book does a great job of depicting the lives of Latin American women, and I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn more about this topic.
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