English 237-2 - Winter, 2022

Seminar for Writers

Class Information

Instructor: Montoya, Maceo
CRN: 45311
Time: M 12:10-3:00
Location: 248 Voorhies
Breadth: Later American


Some of the 20th century?s most innovative novels emerged out of Latin America in the 1960s and ?70s. It?s no coincidence that these works of fiction were created within a cauldron of political turbulence, social upheaval, bloodshed, and dictatorship. Writers had little choice but to respond to the madness surrounding them, but the question was how to respond: what was the appropriate form to address subjects so risky, pervasive, and frightening? Magical realism might be the predominant style associated with Latin American writers, but it was just one response. Elena Poniatowska mixed reportage, memoir and fiction; Manuel Puig used the tools of the surveillance state to give us a glimpse into the lives of its victims; and Mario Vargas Llosa stripped his prose of excess in order to demonstrate the psychological weight of violence. The ?boom? generation of Latin American writers laid the groundwork for subsequent generations to tackle the most pressing issues of their time. This class will examine these important precedents, but also look at the ways more contemporary writers have continued this tradition and pushed their own response to darkness in new directions.


Days and Nights of Love and War, Eduardo Galeano
Massacre in Mexico, Elena Poniatowska
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garc?a M?rquez
Kiss of the Spider Woman, Manuel Puig
Things We Lost in the Fire, Mariana Enriquez
Hurricane Season, Fernanda Melchor
A Planet for Rent, Yoss