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Layton, L. (1998). On Not Being La Malinche: Border Negotiations of Gender in Sandra Cisneros's “Never Marry a Mexican” and “Woman Hollering Creek.” J. Wyatt. Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature. XIV, 1995. Pp. 243-271. Psychoanal Q., 67(2):347-348.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: On Not Being La Malinche: Border Negotiations of Gender in Sandra Cisneros's “Never Marry a Mexican” and “Woman Hollering Creek.” J. Wyatt. Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature. XIV, 1995. Pp. 243-271

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(2):347-348

On Not Being La Malinche: Border Negotiations of Gender in Sandra Cisneros's “Never Marry a Mexican” and “Woman Hollering Creek.” J. Wyatt. Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature. XIV, 1995. Pp. 243-271

Lynne Layton

Wyatt analyzes three Cisneros stories in which the female protagonists, living on the border between Anglo and Mexican cultures, struggle psychically with three female icons of Mexican culture: “Guadalupe, the virgin mother who has not abandoned us, la Chingada (Malinche), the raped mother whom we have abandoned, and la Llorona, the mother who seeks her lost children.” In “Never Marry a Mexican,” the heroine has not worked through her mother's cultural and sexual self-hatred, which dooms her to sadomasochistic replays and reversals of white/Mexican and conqueror/conquered. In “Woman Hollering Creek,” the long-suffering Mexican heroine, trapped in an abusive marriage to a Chicano, comes to identify with her Chicana rescuer, a woman who negotiates freely between Mexican and American gender identities. Wyatt understands the gender negotiations in these stories as two stages of a dialectic completed in a third story, “Little Miracles, Kept Promises,” in which the heroine reaches an understanding

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of the history of the icons, how they have played into her daughter-mother relations, and how they have affected her psyche. The work produces a psychic freedom that allows communal reinventions and revisions of self and culture. In Cisneros's words, “We accept our culture, but not without adapting [it to] ourselves as women.”

Article Citation

Layton, L. (1998). On Not Being La Malinche: Border Negotiations of Gender in Sandra Cisneros's “Never Marry a Mexican” and “Woman Hollering Creek.”. Psychoanal. Q., 67(2):347-348

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