Easy Women: Sex and Gender in Modern Mexican Fiction

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U of Minnesota Press, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 275 pages
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Addresses the topic of prostitution and "easy women" in Mexican literature.

The figure of the prostitute or sexually liberated woman not only permeates Mexican folk songs and popular movies but stands at the crossroads of its national literary culture. In Easy Women, Debra A. Castillo focuses on the prostitute, or the woman perceived as such, in order to ask why this character exerts such a hold on the Mexican imagination.

Combining early twentieth-century novels, current best-selling pulp fiction, and testimonial narratives, Castillo explores how Mexican writers have positioned the "easy woman" in their works. In each example the transgressive woman -- marked by an active sexuality -- serves a crucial narrative function, one that both promotes and challenges myths about women on the continuum of sexual promiscuity. Ending with a discussion based on a series of in-depth interviews with sex workers in Tijuana, Castillo highlights the complexities and ambiguities of these women's professional and personal lives.

Bridging Latin American literary and cultural criticism, gender studies, and studies of Mexican society, Easy Women provides a sophisticated and groundbreaking examination of the place of the sexually liberated woman in contemporary Mexican culture.

 

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Contents

1 ELLIPSES AND INTERSECTIONS
1
GAMBOA
37
RULFO GARRO
63
CASTILLO CAMPBELL
100
SEFCHOVICH
135
MORA BANDIDA SERRANO
160
7 NO CONCLUSIONS
215
TRANSCRIPTS
243
NOTES
253
WORKS CITED
261
INDEX
271
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About the author (1998)

Castillo is professor of romance studies and comparative literature.

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