Zamora, Lois Parkinson 1944(?)–

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Zamora, Lois Parkinson 1944(?)–

PERSONAL: Born c. 1944. Education: Institute de Touraine, Tours, France, certificate (French), 1964; Stanford University, B.A. (English), 1966; University of California, Berkeley, M.A. (comparative literature), 1970, Ph.D. (comparative literature), 1977.

ADDRESSES: Office—University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Houston, TX 77204. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Author and educator. University of Houston, Houston, TX, Dean of Humanities, Fine Arts, and Communication, professor of English, history, and art.

MEMBER: Phi Kappa Phi.

AWARDS, HONORS: Harvey L. Johnson Award, 1990, for best book published by member of the Southwestern Council of Latin American Studies, for translation of Enclosed Garden by Angelina Muniz-Huberman; outstanding professor, Sigma Tau Delta, English Honors Society, 1990; University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award, University of Houston, 1990; Fulbright senior research/lectureship, National Autonomous University of Mexico City, 1992–93; best new art book designation, Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Photographers, Photography Book of the Year, Maine Photographic Workshops, and Choice outstanding academic book, all 1998, all for Image and Memory: Photography from Latin America, 1866–1994; National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 2001.


(Editor) The Apocalyptic Vision in America: Interdisciplinary Essays on Myth and Culture, Bowling Green University Popular Press (Bowling Green, OH), 1982.

Writing the Apocalypse: Historical Vision in Contemporary U.S. and Latin-American Fiction, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor, with Wendy B. Faris) Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community (essays), Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1995.

The Usable Past: The Imagination of History in Recent Fiction of the Americas, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor) Contemporary American Women Writers: Gender, Class, Ethnicity, Longman Press (New York, NY), 1998.

(Editor, with Wendy Watriss) Image and Memory: Photography from Latin America, 1866–1994, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1998.

(Interviewer and compiler) Guillermo Floris Margadant y su mundo, Porrúa (Mexico), 2002.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A comparative and interartistic study of the narrative uses of the visual arts in recent Latin-American fiction, called The Inordinate Eye: Text and Image in Contemporary Latin American Fiction.

SIDELIGHTS: Educator and author Lois Parkinson Zamora has a varied background in literature, history, and art that she applies in her diverse writings. Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community, a compilation of essays Zamora coedited with Wendy B. Faris, explores the true meaning of the term "magical realism," not just in the context of the recent style used by a number of prominent South American writers, but as it applies to works such as Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children and the works of New Zealand author Janet Frame. Noted Irving Malin in the Review of Contemporary Fiction, the anthology "refuses to allow the term magical realism to be a cliche for South American fiction written in the last decades." In a review for World Literature Today, Patricia Hart remarked that the editors "deftly conjured up an anthology on magic realism that is a concrete example of one of their central theses: namely, 'Realism intends its vision of the world as a singular version, as an objective (hence universal) representation of natural and social realities … [while magical realism's] program is not centralizing, but eccentric: it creates space for interactions, for diversity.'"

In The Usable Past: The Imagination of History in Recent Fiction of the Americas, Zamora illustrates the growing differences between the fiction of the Americas and that of Europe, focusing on the discrepancies in cultural traditions and how they increasingly affect the writers' viewpoints. Maarten van Delden, reviewing the book for Comparative Literature, called it "a bold declaration of the independence of New World culture with regard to European culture," and went on to state that "the American experience of living in the midst of numerous and diverse cultures and histories has had specific effects on the way in which American writers handle literary form." Zamora believes that Americans are aware of their vast cultural differences and that, as writers, they cannot take for granted a shared history on which to draw. Instead, they must strive to remain open to the various traditions, creating a different dynamic than that experienced by European writers.



Comparative Literature, spring, 2000, Maarten van Delden, review of The Usable Past: The Imagination of History in Recent Fiction of the Americas, p. 186.

Review of Contemporary Fiction, fall, 1996, Irving Malin, review of Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community, p. 204.

World Literature Today, summer, 1996, Patricia Hart, review of Magical Realism, p. 770.


University of Houston Web site, (July 26, 2004), "Lois Zamora."

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Zamora, Lois Parkinson 1944(?)–

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