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The Sexual Woman in Latin American Literature: Dangerous Desires

The Sexual Woman in Latin American Literature: Dangerous Desires
Diane E. Marting
Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2001
PQ7082 .N7 M354 2001

Latin American fiction achieved a turning point in its representation of sexual women sometime in the 1960s. Diane E. Marting offers a richly detailed analysis of this development.

Her central idea is that in Latin American narrative women's desires were portrayed as dangerous throughout the twentieth century, despite the heroic character of the "newly sexed woman" of the sixties. She argues that women's sexuality in fiction was transformed because it symbolized the many other changes occurring in women's lives regarding their families, workplaces, societies, and nations. Female sexual desire offered an ever present threat to male privilege.

Marting scrutinizes works by three of the most famous and popular novelists of the period, Guatemalan Miguel Angel Asturias, Brazilian Clarice Lispector, and Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa. She argues that their novels from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s represent the beginning, middle, and end, respectively, of what has come to be seen as an indulgent, radical period that produced acclaimed sexual fiction of world stature. Marting's book surveys the topic of women's sexuality in the work of both men and women writers and engages two current controversies: feminist and moral issues related to the female body, and the nature of literary history. It will stand as an important addition to the fields of Latin American studies and women's studies.

Quoted from dust jacket.