24. Multi-Ethnic Female Identity and Denise Chávez's The Last of the Menu Girls

  1. Alfred Bendixen Professor founder Executive Director2 and
  2. James Nagel Professor Rockefeller Fellow3
  1. Karen Weekes Associate Professor

Published Online: 16 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444319910.ch24

A Companion to the American Short Story

A Companion to the American Short Story

How to Cite

Weekes, K. (2010) Multi-Ethnic Female Identity and Denise Chávez's The Last of the Menu Girls, in A Companion to the American Short Story (eds A. Bendixen and J. Nagel), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444319910.ch24

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Texas A&M University, USA

  2. 3

    University of Georgia, USA

Author Information

  1. Pennsylvania State University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 19 FEB 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405115438

Online ISBN: 9781444319910

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Keywords:

  • multi-ethnic female identity and Denise Chávez's The Last of the Menu Girls;
  • quest for identity, considered by critics to be - the universal theme of literature, from The Odyssey to Hamlet to The House on Mango Street;
  • Chávez recognizing prominence of this struggle for women in her work;
  • Chávez, instrumental in bringing attention to Chicana writing - which for many years had difficulty finding its place in literary criticism;
  • upsurge at the end of the twentieth century - in publication of short story cycles featuring excellent texts portraying Chicanas;
  • hispanic authors, inventing Bildungsroman anew - reflecting experiences specific to culture;
  • The Künstlerroman, striking the same particularly resonant chord as Bildungsroman;
  • The home and neighborhood figuring prominently in stories of Rocío's childhood and adolescence - “Willow Game” and “The Closet”;
  • the novel including emphasis on women's bodies - sex taboo because of Catholic and Hispanic strictures on female sexuality “Shooting Stars” personifying the madonna

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • References and Further Reading