Never before has a book examined Spanish women and their mastery of the essay. In the groundbreaking collection Spanish Women Writers and the Essay, Kathleen M. Glenn and Mercedes Mazquiarán de Rodríguez help to rediscover the neglected genre, which has long been considered a "masculine" form. Taking a feminist perspective, the editors examine why Spanish women have been so drawn to the essay through the decades, from Concepción Arenal's nineteenth-century writings to the modern works of Rosa Montero.
Spanish women, historically denied a public voice, have discovered an outlet for their expression via the essay. As essayists, they are granted the authority to address subjects they personally deem important, discuss historical and sociopolitical issues, and denounce female subordination. This genre, which attracts a different audience than does the novel or poem, allows Spanish women writers to engage in a direct dialogue with their readers.
Featuring twelve critical investigations of influential female essayists, Spanish Women Writers and the Essay illustrates Spanish women writers' command of the genre, their incorporation of both the ideological and the aesthetic into one concise form, and their skillful use of various strategies for influencing their readers. This fascinating study, which provides English translations for all quotations, will appeal to anyone interested in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish literature, comparative literature, feminist criticism, or women's studies.