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An Overview of Contemporary Chicano/a Literature

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Abstract

This paper aims to review and highlight the main themes and ideas of contemporary Chicano/a literature. Given that the awakening of this literature is closely connected with the Chicano Movement, the early literature reflects a similar socio-political agenda, with an emphasis on the recuperation of historical memory. Despite a rich literary production since the 1960s, the last two decades have witnessed the appearance of writers such as Gloria Anzaldúa and Sandra Cisneros who have placed Chicano/a writing on the literary map. Thus my paper analyses in more detail this later literature, arguing that it foregrounds gender and (homo)sexuality, issues previously ignored during the male-dominated era of the 1960s and 1970s. This later production is characterised by individualistic and self-critical voices such as that of Richard Rodriguez who open up the boundaries and contribute to the creation of a more multifaceted literature.

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