Chicana Ways
Conversations With Ten Chicana Writers

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Author: Karin Rosa Ikas

Format: Paper
Pages: 248
ISBN: 9780874174939
Published Date: 2001

Karin Rosa Ikas offers probing and insightful interviews with ten Chicana writers of diverse backgrounds: Denise Chávez, Gloria Anzaldúa, Lucha Corpi, Cherríe Moraga, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Mary Helen Ponce, Jamie Lujan, Demetria Martinez, Estela Portillo-Trambley, and Pat Mora. The interviews address such topics as personal background, education, sense of ethnic and gender identity, the origins and intention of published works, and general views on writing, culture, and art, revealing a rich multiplicity of Chicana voices and views in diverse genres including poetry, drama, and fiction. For each of these women, though, her identity as a Chicana and as a woman is critically important to her evolution and purpose as a writer. Chicana Ways documents the rich diversity and brilliance of contemporary Mexican American writing and is essential reading for anyone interested in multicultural and feminist literature.

Author Bio
Karin Ikas received her Ph.D. at the University of Würzburg, Germany, in 1999 with a dissertation on "Modern Chicana Literature: An Intercultural Analysis" [German title: Die zeitgenössische Chicana-Literatur: Eine interkulturelle Untersuchung]. She is now a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at the University of Würzburg in the Department of Cultures, Languages and Literatures of English Speaking Countries. Her publications include articles on Chicana Literature and an edited collection of Chicano short stories for high-school students. Her publications include articles on Chicana Literature and an edited collection of Chicano short stories for high-school students. She is author of Chicana Ways: Conversations with Ten Chicana Writers and co-editor of Latino Literatures and Cultures: An International Perspective (together with Professor F. Lomelí, UC Santa Barbara) and the recently co-edited Short Stories from Australia and New Zealand, an annotated anthology with Professor David Carter (University of Queensland in Brisbane) Her new research projects involve also studies on English language drama in the 19th and 20th century, the experience of War in English Language Literatures and English language playwrights of the 1860s to the 1930s. She has won several fellowships and is recipient of the Daimler Chrysler Foundation's "Academy Award for Intercultural Studies 2001." In December 2002 she was awarded the President and Jubilee Foundation Award of the University of Würzburg for Excellence Research in English Language Literary and Cultural Studies.

"Chicana Ways gives readers faces, literal and figurative, for women who have changed American literature with their brilliance and bravery." —Barbara RileySouthwest Book Views, Spring 2002

"According to Ikas, . . . the modern Chicana is no longer a willing subordinate of any male—much less a victim. This argument is reinforced by interviews with ten prominent Chicana writers (among them Gloria Anzaldua, Denise Chavez, Pat Mora, and Cherrie Moraga), who describe the lives of Chicanas—not Chicanos or male Hispanics. Each chapter features a different author and contains a brief biography and list of writings. In addition, Ikas's skillful questions elicit personal details about what each writer wishes to accomplish in life and convey in specific works, which range from short stories and poems to mysteries and sitcoms. Select topics include Chicana feminism—especially gender roles and sexuality, the effects of landscape and border on a culture, and the craft of writing vs. the more traditional tasks allotted to women. What results is an insightful study that can change readers' perceptions." —Nedra C. Evers, Sacramento Public Library, Booklist

"This collection of interviews testifies to the continuing importance of borders and border crossings (national, geographical, sexual, ethnic) in Chicana writing, as well as to its antithesis, if you will, domesticity, the home, and the Chicano family. . . . Chicana Ways is a timely book, and a resource critics of Chicana literature will appreciate." —Monika KaupAztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies