cover of book

Sor Juana: Or, the Persistence of Pop
by Ilan Stavans
University of Arizona Press, 2018
Paper: 978-0-8165-3607-8 | eISBN: 978-0-8165-3913-0
Library of Congress Classification PQ7296.J6Z8928 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 861.3

A sixteenth-century Mexican nun, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, has become one of the most rebellious and lasting icons in modern times, on par with Mahatma Gandhi, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and Nelson Mandela. Referenced in ranchera, tejana, and hip-hop lyrics, and celebrated in popular art as a guerrillera with rifle and bullet belts, Sor Juana has become ubiquitous. The conduits keep multiplying: statues, lotería cards, key chains, recipe books, coffee mugs, Día de los Muertos costumes. Ironically, Juana Inés de Asbaje—alias Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz—died in anonymity. Her grave was unmarked until the 1970s.

Sor Juana: Or, the Persistence of Pop encapsulates the life, times, and legacy of Sor Juana. In this immersive work, essayist Ilan Stavans provides a biographical and meditative picture of the ways in which popular perceptions of her life and body of work both shape and reflect modern Latinx culture.

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