Portuguese Women’s Writing 1972 to 1986 Reincarnations of a Revolution

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This is a study of narrative fiction by Portuguese woman writers immediately before the 25 April Revolution and during the post-revolution and transitions period of 1974-1986. Departing from the Three Marias’ a Novas Cartas Portuguesas as an influential turning point for women’s writing, the study goes on to analyze novels by Teolinda Gersão, Hélia Correia, Olga Gonçalves, and Lídia Jorge. An exploration of women’s sexually embodied subjectivity not only offers new perspectives on Portuguese history and society but also demands a broader reconceptualization of the relationship between alterity and representation.


“This study breaks new ground, as much for the English-speaking reader as the Portuguese scholar, exposing the ambiguities and contradictions that riddle Portuguese society and thus artistic and literary artistic production that arises from within it. . . . Dr. Owen’s book reads extremely well. She defines and handles wide-ranging theoretical concepts with aplomb, and successfully avoids jargon. Helpful transitions from one chapter to the next, as well as the appropriate cross-referencing within the body of the text itself also render the work accessible to readers, notwithstanding the complexity of issues and theories broached. . . . perceptive, penetrating analyses of the novels, backed up by thoughtful consideration of the appropriate secondary material, which she is able to sum up and frequently push forward. Her arguments are rigorous and cogent, and the study makes an extremely important contribution to scholarship, advancing knowledge and understanding of a number of subject areas. . . (Portuguese) Women’s Studies, Women’s Writing, Critical Theory and Contemporary Portuguese Fiction.” – Dr. Patricia Anne Odber de Baubeta

“Owen’s powerful readings. . . take us through the imperatives and politics of women’s desire enacted or suppressed against the backdrop of family, community and national life, in the pre- and post-revolutionary periods. . . . . This volume will fulfill a long-felt need which has yet to be catered for in a burgeoning area of Portuguese literary studies. It deals lucidly with complex issues, and sets out a methodological path likely to prove highly rewarding for future scholarship. It ought to become essential reading for both students and academics in the field.” – Dr. M. M. Lisboa

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface: Dislocations
Introduction: Women’s Writing in Portugal: This feminism which is not one
1. Novas Cartas Portuguesas: In Spite of Ulysses
2. Through the Looking-Glass of History in Teolinda Gersão’s Paisagem com Mulher e Mar ao Fundo
3. Hélia Correia’s Montedemo: The Tale of an (Un)becoming Virgin
4. Testaments of Youth: Olga Gonçalves’s Mandei-lhe uma Boca and Sara
5. A Walk on the Wild Side in Lídia Jorge’s Notícia da Cidade Silvestre
Conclusion: Writing the Unfinished Revolution
Bibliography; Index

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