Review Of "Prospero's Daughter: The Prose Of Rosario Castellanos" By J. O'Connell

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As the years go by since Castellanos's tragic death in 1974, it becomes more and more apparent that Spanish American letters has lost one of its most gifted narrative, poetic, and journalistic voices; that voice is now being reclaimed by feminists on both sides of the Rio Grande. O'Connell's book is an important addition to the excellent work already done--A Rosario Castellanos Reader, ed. by Maureen Ahern (1988); Perla Schwartz's Rosario Castellanos: mujer que supo latín (1984); Homenaje a Rosario Castellanos, ed. by Ahern and Mary Seale Vasquez (1980); and Germaine Calderón's El universo poético de Rosario Castellanos (1979). In a highly lucid and accessible prose, O'Connell (Univ. of Minnesota) begins her study of the Mexican author by examining the evolution of the Tempest anthology traditionally used to symbolize the relations between colonizer and colonized. She analyzes the figure of Prospero's daughter Miranda as the embodiment of the difficult situation of many women intellectuals: because of their social status and race, they are automatically identified with the power of the colonizer, but as women living in a male-dominated world, they are in fact condemned to a role of subordination. O'Connell's insightful reading convincingly demonstrates how Castellanos uses writing to subvert the limitations that society imposed on her as just another of Prospero's daughters. Upper-division undergraduate upward.


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