Friday, June 3, 2022

Review of Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean by Jennifer Browdy De Hernandez

This book review was written by Eugene Kernes  

Book can be found in: 
Genre = Sociology
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“We had gone to police stations and army posts; we we had talked to priests and military chaplains; we had asked friends if they knew of contacts at the clandestine centers who would be able to say if our children were alive.  But the army knew very well how to create a climate of terror in the family of the abducted victim” – Raquel Partnoy, Chapter 3: The Silent Witness, Page 33

“We are done being cushions for your projected fears.  We are tired of being your sacrificial lambs and scapegoats.” – Gloria Anzaldua, Chapter 8: Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers, Page 83

“Fundamentally, I started writing to save my life.  Yes, my own life first.  I see the same impulse in my students – the dark, the queer, the mixed-blood, the violated – turning to the written page with a relentless passion, a drive to avenge their own silence, invisibility, and erasure as living, innately expressive human beings.” – Cherrie Moraga, Chapter 10” Art in America con Acento, Pages 105-106



This book is a collection of writing and art, from various perspectives and regions, seeking to understand injustice.  To resolve injustice, injustice has to be made overt.  What the authors do, is make injustice salient, observable.  Enabling everyone to understand what injustice means in practice.  The lived experiences.  After making injustice overt and recognizable, can actions be taken to rectify the injustices.  Many started to write, or do artistic work, to give voice to their suffering.  Writing to avenge silence.  Writing to make sense of the world.  From writing and art, the individuals obtain what the world does not give.  It takes more than blaming everything on others to rectify the situation.  It takes activism.  Taking responsibility for the situation, and then trying to improve upon it.  Traumatic experiences can be very different, but victims tend to be scapegoats for projected fears.  Culture is a dynamic process in which peoples are not passive bystanders, but active participates in the evolving social experience.  


There are a lot of traumatic experiences within the book, making it emotionally difficult to read continuously.  Each chapter is a different author, a different voice.  Creating a lack of flow. 

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•What are some limitations of the book?
•What is injustice?
•How did the authors deal with injustice?
•How is culture formed?
•How does one take responsibility?
•Who are the victims?
•Why do people write? 
•How to resolve injustice?

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  9780896087088
Pages to read:   214
Publication:     2003
1st Edition:      2003
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    4
Content          3
Overall           3