Chiriboga, Luz Argentina (1940–)

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Chiriboga, Luz Argentina (1940–)

Luz Argentina Chiriboga is perhaps the most accomplished contemporary Afro-Latina writer in Ecuador. Born in Esmeraldas on 1 April 1940, she has emerged as an integral voice in Ecuador's search for a pluralistic national identity. The widow of Nelson Estupiñán Bass (author of the first major Afro-Ecuadorean novel, Cuando los guayacanes florecían), Chiriboga has established her own reputation with a series of important novels. The first, Bajo la piel de los tambores (1991), was translated into English in 1996 with the title Drums under My Skin. She contributed to the growing phenomenon of the neo-slave narrative in her critically acclaimed novel Jonatás y Manuela (1994). In the novel, Chiriboga rescues the memory of Manuela Sáenz's (Simón Bolívar's companion) slave woman. This important novel rearticulates Afro-Ecuadorean identity in terms of the country's earliest national traditions. In addition to her novels and short stories, Chiriboga has worked to document and preserve Afro-Ecuadorean identity and culture. In Diá spora por los caminos de Esmeraldas: Décimas, cuentos, adivinanzas, leyendas, coplas, refranes, dichos, rompecabezas, trabalenguas, chigualo, arrullos, recetas de cocina (1997) she mines African diaspora discourse to preserve the jokes, riddles, legends, sayings, tongue-twisters, and recipes that help define coastal Ecuadorian identity.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


DeCosta-Willis, Miriam. "The Poetics and Politics of Desire: Eroticism in Luz Argentina Chiriboga's Bajo la piel de los tambores." Afro-Hispanic Review 14, no. 1 (1995): 18-25.

Feal, Rosemary Geisdorfer. "Entrevista con Luz Argentina Chiriboga (Followed by Poems from Her La contraportada del deseo, Translated by Rosemary Geisdorfer Feal)." Afro-Hispanic Review 12, no. 2 (1993): 12-16.

O'Donnell, William E. "Bajo la piel de los tambores: Post-Colonial Bildungsroman." In The Image of the Outsider in Literature, Media, and Society, edited by Will Wright and Steven Kaplan, pp. 131-136. Pueblo, CO: Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery, University of Southern Colorado, 2002.

Zielina, María Carmen. "Jonatás y Manuela: La historia de una amistad transnacional y étnica." Revista Iberoamericana 65 (1999): 681-695.

                                   V. Daniel Rogers