The Pennsylvania State University
Cover for the book Rewriting Womanhood

Rewriting Womanhood

Feminism, Subjectivity, and the Angel of the House in the Latin American Novel, 1887–1903 Nancy LaGreca
  • Copyright: 2009
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 216 pages
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-03438-6
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-03439-3
  • Series Name: Penn State Romance Studies

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In Rewriting Womanhood, Nancy LaGreca explores the subversive refigurings of womanhood in three novels by women writers: La hija del bandido (1887) by Refugio Barragán de Toscano (Mexico; 1846–1916), Blanca Sol (1888) by Mercedes Cabello de Carbonera (Peru; 1845–1909), and Luz y sombra (1903) by Ana Roqué (Puerto Rico; 1853–1933). While these women were both acclaimed and critiqued in their day, they have been largely overlooked by contemporary mainstream criticism. Detailed enough for experts yet accessible to undergraduates, graduate students, and the general reader, Rewriting Womanhood provides ample historical context for understanding the key women’s issues of nineteenth-century Mexico, Peru, and Puerto Rico; clear definitions of the psychoanalytic theories used to unearth the rewriting of the female self; and in-depth literary analyses of the feminine agency that Barragán, Cabello, and Roqué highlight in their fiction.

Rewriting Womanhood reaffirms the value of three women novelists who wished to broaden the ruling-class definition of woman as mother and wife to include woman as individual for a modern era. As such, it is an important contribution to women’s studies, nineteenth-century Hispanic studies, and sexuality and gender studies.

Nancy LaGreca is Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at the University of Oklahoma.




1. Women’s Imagined Roles in Nineteenth-Century Mexico: Seclusion in the Midst of Progress and Early Feminist Reactions

2. Coming of Age(ncy): Refugio Barragán de Toscano’s La hija del bandido

3. Women in Peru: National and Private Struggles for Independence

4. New Models for New Women: Rethinking Cinderella’s Virtues and Humanizing the Stepmother in Mercedes Cabello de Carbonera’s Blanca Sol

5. Women as Body in Puerto Rico: Medicine, Morality, and Institutionalizations of Sexual Oppression in the Long Nineteenth Century

6. Sexual Agency in Ana Roqué’s Luz y sombra: A Subversion of the Essentialized Woman


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