A developmental perspective of women's writing in Costa Rica

Date

1999-08

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Publisher

Texas Tech University

Abstract

One of the most interesting features of Costa Rican literature is a certain degree of gender equity: since its begiiming, a significant number of major contributors have been women. Women have been included in literary movements as well as in political leadership roles throughout the Twentieth Century in Costa Rica. This study examines women's writing in Costa Rica, specifically using four authors: Carmen Lyra, Yolanda Oreamuno, Carmen Naranjo, and Anacristina Rossi.

Each writer has made significant contributions to the development of the novel during the time in which she was writing by employing innovative techniques such as the polyphonic narrative voice, non-linear time and unmarked dialogue. In addition to developing new writing techniques, these writers also integrated new themes into Costa Rican literature.

All four writers address social issues which have had a tremendous infiuence on Costa Rican society. Carmen Lyra and Yolanda Oreamuno wrote before the Costa Rican Civil War of 1948 and because of the controversial nature of their works, both were exiled from Costa Rica. Carmen Naranjo, whose work spans four decades, is Costa Rica's most prolific author, addressing problems caused by the creation of the Costa Rican bureaucracy after the war. Anacristina Rossi, known for her controversial themes, has also led a strong fight against the destruction of Costa Rica's natural resources and national parks.

Very littie has been written about these women writers. What has been published about them has, in large part, been limited to Costa Rican periodicals. The purpose of this study is to examine the ways in which women have played a major, important role in the literary production in Costa Rica, as well as how they have influenced Costa Rican political and social institutions during the 1900s through this medium.

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