ANOTHER WAY TO BE: SELECTED WORKS OF ROSARIO CASTELLANOS -- a multifaceted selection of the writing of a champion of women's rights and an outspoken critic of the oppression of the Mexican Indian
Another Way to Be: Selected Works Of Rosario Castellanos Edited & Translated by Myralyn F. Allgood (1990, University of Georgia Press; 192 pages)
¨Oh, may sleep elude our brows, may friendship pierce our hearts like thorns, and may songs offend our mouths, as long as the hands of this woman, this Indian mother, remain unable to give her child bread, light, and justice.¨
This book is a multifaceted selection of the writings of thinker, writer, diplomat and feminist Rosario Castellanos, one of Mexico's major literary figures before her untimely death in 1974. Poet, novelist, journalist, philosopher, and diplomat, she was a woman whose life and art reflected her commitment to the problems and promise of her native land. She was the daughter of a wealthy landowner and saw during her childhood the clash of cultures and social classes in tradition-bound communities where women were condemned to lives of submission, and Indians were regarded as nothing more than chattel. From these experiences she formed her opinion and her views of the world as a place where races and individuals are caught up in an ongoing struggle for justice and dignity, for "another way to be human and free."
The book opens with selections from her poetry in both Spanish and English. It includes selections from her prize-winning fiction and closes with a group of essays that reflect her intellectual debt to Simone Weil and Simone de Beauvoir and the kinship she felt with Virginia Woolf and Emily Dickinson. Together, the selections of Another Way to Be give a rich and full sense of the diverse talents of a remarkable writer and woman.
¨There must be another way...
Another way to be human and free
Another way to be
¨A champion of women's rights and an outspoken critic of the oppression of the Mexican Indian by the Ladino (white people), Castellanos wrote highly personal works that drew deeply upon her experience as a white, Mexican female in Chiapas. The struggles of the natives against harsh social conditions were apparent to her from childhood. Allgood here translates and assembles selections of Castellanos's poetry, fiction, and essays representing these themes. The poetry, presented bilingually, moves from her earlier intellectual works to lighter works and deals with basic human concerns. The fiction emphasizes the parallel conflicts of men versus women and non-Indian versus Indian. The essays, written for the Mexican paper Excelsior , reveal her perceptive views on a range of issues. This is the only work of Castellanos currently available in English, making it a worthwhile addition to both Spanish literature and women's studies collections.
- Mary Ellen Beck, Troy P.L., N.Y.
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Recommended by: Maite