Miriam DeCosta-Willis, ed. 2003. Daughters of the Diaspora: Afra-Hispanic Writers

Citation metadata

Date: July-December 2006
From: Caribbean Studies(Vol. 34, Issue 2)
Publisher: Instituto de Estudios del Caribe
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,614 words

Document controls

Main content

Article Preview :

Miriam DeCosta-Willis, ed. 2003. Daughters of the Diaspora: Afra-Hispanic Writers. Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers. xlii + 500 pp. Index. ISBN: 0-9729358-0-0 (Paper); 0-97293581-9 (Cloth).

Students and scholars of Hispanic American literature have reasons to rejoice at the publication of Miriam DeCostaWillis's path-breaking anthology Daughters of the Diaspora. Simply put, this compilation of works by twenty Hispanophone women writers of African descent profoundly unsettles literary verities and impels us to rethink the field. And rightly so. For the first time in English translation, we find in a single volume a wealth of twentieth-century Afra-Hispanic poets, novelists and essayists hailing from Uruguay (Virginia Brindis de Salas, Beatriz Santos, Cristina Cabral), Ecuador (Argentina Chiriboga), Costa Rica (Eulalia Bernard, Shirley Campbell), Colombia (Edelma Zapata Perez, Yvonne-America Truque), Cuba (Marta Rojas, Georgina Herrera, Lourdes Casal, Nancy Morejon, Excilia Saldana, Soleida Rios), Puerto Rico (Carmen Colon Pellot, Julia de Burgos, Mayra Santos-Febres), the Dominican Republic (Aida Cartagena Portalatin, Sherezada "Chiqui" Vicioso), and Equatorial Guinea (Maria Nsue Angue). The twenty writers featured in this book help us to map out a distinctly black and womanist creative terrain. A short biography and a scholarly essay accompany each author. The interpretive essays, alone, by the fifteen noted scholars gathered here--Marvin A. Lewis, Caroll Mills Young, Claudette Williams, and Ian I. Smart, to name a few--would make this a very useful book for specialists, generalists and graduate students alike. With the exception of Carmen Colon Pellot, all entries also include a photograph of the author, (1) an important detail given the complex phenotypical rules that guide racial identification in HispanoAmerican countries.

The anthology opens with a thought-provoking essay by editor DeCosta-Willis providing us with an historical and conceptual framework for this emerging body of works. The growing corpus evidenced here demands the attention of critics within the countries represented, as well as that of Latin Americanists and scholars of the Black Atlantic. Consequently, one of De Costa-Willis's aims is to promote the study of new writers together with more established voices and older writers currently out of print. AfraHispanic writers have encountered great hardships in the diffusion and appreciation of their writings, with the important exceptions of Nancy Morejon and Mayra Santos-Febres. The author reminds us that even as black diaspora writers have received more attention, many still face difficulties finding national and international publishers, and attracting critical attention and a reading public that would nurture their careers. Additionally some of the women...

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A186436756