Belli, Gioconda (1948–)

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Belli, Gioconda (1948–)

Gioconda Belli (b. 9 December 1948), Nicaraguan poet and novelist. Best known for her autobiographical, erotic, and feminist celebration of sexuality and the female body, Belli has published four books of poetry: Sobre la grama (1974); Línea de fuego (1978), winner of the Cuban Casa de las Américas Prize; Truenos y arcoiris (1982); and De la costilla de Eva (1987; From Eve's Rib, 1993). In testimony to her rising reputation in Central America, all four books were republished together as Poesía reunida (1989). An ardent supporter of the Sandinista revolution, Belli wrote eloquently of the loss of friends and comrades in the fighting. Her first novel, La mujer habitada (1988; The Inhabited Woman, 1994), recounts the struggle of a Latin American woman to transcend the politics of individualistic bourgeois feminism and join the broader historical struggle of all oppressed peoples. Her second novel, Sofía de los presagios (1990), depicts the feminist struggles of a woman in contemporary Nicaragua. In addition to English, much of Belli's work has been translated into German.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America; Nicaragua.


For studies of Belli's narrative, see María Salgado, "Gioconda Belli, novelista revolucionaria," and Vicente Cabrera, "La intertextualidad subversiva en La mujer habitada," in Monographic Review/Revista Monográfica 8 (1992): 229-242 and 243-251; Luis T. González Del Valle, ed., Critical Essays on the Literatures of Spain and Spanish America (1991); Lady Rojas Trempe, "La alteridad indígen a y mágica en la narrativa de Elena Garro, Manuel Scorza y Gioconda Belli," in Alba de América: Revista Literaria 9 (1991): 141-152. For studies of her poetry, see Kathleen March, "Gioconda Belli: The Erotic Politics of the Great Mother," in Monographic Review/Revista Monográfica 6 (1990): 245-257; and Electra Arenal, "Two Poets of the Sandinista Struggle," in Feminist Studies 7, no. 1 (1981): 19-27.

Additional Bibliography

Barbas-Rhoden, Laura. Novels of Testimony and Resistance from Central America. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997.

Belli, Gioconda. The Country under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War. New York: Knopf, 2002.

Belli, Gioconda. The Inhabited Woman. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1994.

Belli, Gioconda. The Scroll of Seduction: A Novel. New York: Harper Collins, 2006.

Rodríguez, Ileana. House/Garden/Nation: Space, Gender, and Ethnicity in Post-Colonial Latin American Literatures by Women. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994.

                                      Ann GonzÁlez

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Belli, Gioconda (1948–)

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