Violence and Endurance: Representations of War and Peace in Post-War Central American Narratives


Series: Central America and the Caribbean
BISAC: SOC051000

This is a volume of essays on post-civil war Central American narrative, bringing together leading experts in Central American literary and cultural studies from the USA, Central America and Europe to access recent developments in the region’s artistic output – including the emergence of Mayan literature – and the criticism it has received inside and outside Central America. The authors draw on the pioneering (though often scattered and difficult to locate) academic work that has been produced so far, and aspire to bring it into focus to produce its own coherent body of criticism as well as point out themes and avenues for future research in the field. The essays address issues that are crucial for the understanding of what has been happening in Central American literature since the late 1980s, and how it relates to earlier literary output in the region. Hence, this book significantly contributes to the knowledge and understanding of Central American textuality over the last few decades, offering new insights into the development of both literary content and aesthetic quality. The main focus is on post-civil war literature, and how it tends to be different in content and style from literature published during the long years of social conflict and armed struggle. While all the essays focus on the main topic, they are wide-ranging, covering literature from the five countries most affected by civil war: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents




I. Key Developments

Chapter 1. Formal and Thematic Tendencies in Central American Literature: From Past to Present
Dante Liano (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy)

Chapter 2. Central American Narrativity and the Coloniality of Power: Is Post-War Literature New?
Arturo Arias (University of California, Merced, CA, United States of America)

Chapter 3. Transnational Narratives of Origin, Affiliation and Canon in the Nicaraguan Post-Revolution: On Gioconda Belli’s El Infinito en la Palma de la Mano
Leonel Delgado Aburto (Universidad de Chile, Chile)

Chapter 4. Transmutation in Contemporary Central American Testimony: From Epic to Parody?
Werner Mackenbach (Universität Potsdam, Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica)

Chapter 5. Contemporary Maya Poetry and the Question of Modernity: Xib’alb’a as an Allegory of Globalization
Emilio del Valle Escalante (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, United States of America)

II. Violence, Crime, Memory, Testimony and Trauma

Chapter 6. Post-National Post-Identities: Transformations in Post-War Central American Literary Production
Arturo Arias (University of California, Merced, CA, United States of America)

Chapter 7. Absolute Destitution in the Narrative of Jorge Medina García
Héctor M. Leyva (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, Honduras)

Chapter 8. Disillusion and the Breakdown of Binary Morality: Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Critique of El Salvador’s Militant Left in La diáspora
James Knight (University of Liverpool, United Kingdom)

Chapter 9. ¿Cómo Expresar Una Realidad Grosera, Cruda, Fea?: Violence, Testimony and Aesthetics in Salvadoran Post-Civil War Literature
Astvaldur Astvaldsson (University Liverpool, United Kingdom)

Chapter 10. Reconstructing the Plot of History: The Latest Proposal for the Historical Novel by Castellanos Moya
Ricardo Roque-Baldovinos (Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas, El Salvador)

Chapter 11. Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Crime and Trauma in Rodrigo Rey Rosa’s El Material Humano
Yansi Pérez (Carleton College, MN, United States of America)

III. Gender, Sexuality and Race

Chapter 12. Violence and Sexuality in the Post-War Novel in Central America
Karen Poe (University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica)

Chapter 13. Other Societies, Other Men: Masculinities in Recent Central American Narrative
Uriel Quesada (Loyola University New Orleans, LA, United States of America)

Chapter 14. Abject Guerrilleras: Re-defining the ‘Woman Warrior’ in Post-War Central America
Yajaira M. Padilla (University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, United States of America)


The target audience for is the academic community, including both under- and postgraduate students in Latin American literary and cultural studies. Given that some of the texts studied are available in English translations, interest from readers and students in the field of World Literature is also anticipated.

href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read the book review by Tania Pleitez Vela, PhD in philology, University of Barcelona

href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here to read the book review byMichela Craveri, Ph.D., Catholic University of Milan, Italy

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