These essays examine the multifaceted work of the Central American author whom Latin American literary historians consider precursor of “cultural dialogism” in poetry and fiction. As poet, essayist, journalist, novelist, and writer of “quasi–testimonio,” Alegría’s multiple discourses transgress the boundaries between traditional and postmodern political theories and practices. Her work reveals an allegory of relation and negotiation between “intelligentsia” and subaltern peoples as well as the need for a more socially extensive literature, not exclusive of more elite “magical literatures.”
The essays in the fist section frame Alegría’s discourses within sociohistorical, political, and literary contexts in order to illuminate the author’s singular place in the literary and political history of Central America. The essays in the second section engage in a feminist dialogic in which the reader encounters various critical validations and valorizations of Alegría’s many female voices. The third section involves the reader in the pursuit of extratextual or extraliterary resonances in Alegría’s work.