The Picara: From Hera to Fantasy Heroine
by Anne K. Kaler
University of Wisconsin Press, 1991
Cloth: 978-0-87972-515-0 | Paper: 978-0-87972-516-7
Library of Congress Classification PN3428.K35 1991
Dewey Decimal Classification 809.93352042

Courtesan and criminal, thief and trollop, warrior and wanderer—the picara embodies the continuing archetypal pattern of a woman’s autonomy. She is the sly sharpster in Defoe’s heroines such as Roxana and Moll Flanders. With an ancestress like Becky Sharp, the picara evolves into Scarlett O’Hara before finding a comfortable niche as the female hero in fantasy written by women. The Picara traces the development of this character, from an autonomous woman in a harsh patriarchal society to the female hero of the modern fantasy novel.
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