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Ferré, Rosario (1938–)

Ferré, Rosario (1938–)

Rosario Ferré is one of the most important authors in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Ferré completed her undergraduate education in the United States at Manhattanville College (1960) and earned her master's degree in Spanish literature at the University of Puerto Rico, where she studied with the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa. She holds a Ph.D. in Latin American literature from the University of Maryland and received an honorary doctorate from Brown University.

As a young woman in the 1970s she was part of a group of radical Puerto Rican intellectuals who created Zona de carga y descarga (Loading and unloading zone), a journal that published young local writers, many of whom became well known. From 1977 to 1980 she wrote a column called Carga y descarga for the Puerto Rican newspaper El Mundo.

In her book of feminist essays, Sitio a Eros (1982), Ferré criticized traditional Puerto Rican class and gender relationships. Her 1976 collection of short stories, Papeles de Pandora (published in English as The Youngest Doll in 1991), rejects the cultural characterization of women as dolls who exist only for the pleasure of men. In addition to her stories, written in a magical-realist style, she has published novels, books of poetry, literary essays, and children's stories. In 1992 she published Memorias de Ponce, a biography of her father, Luis A. Ferré, a businessman who became rich in the island's midtwentieth-century industrialization boom and later served as governor (1969–1973).

In 1989 her collection of four related novellas, Maldito Amor (first published in 1985), was translated into English as Sweet Diamond Dust. Her English-language novel The House on the Lagoon was a finalist for the 1995 National Book Award. In 2004 Ferré was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is a professor at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Gutiérrez, Mariela. Rosario Ferré en su edad de oro: Heroínas subversivas de Papeles de Pandora y Maldito Amor. Madrid: Editorial Verbum, 2004.

Henao, Eda B. The Colonial Subject's Search for Nation, Culture, and Identity in the Works of Julia Alvarez, Rosario Ferré, and Ana Lydia Vega. Lewiston, NY: E. Mellen Press, 2003.

Lindsay, Claire. Locating Latin American Women Writers: Cristina Peri Rossi, Rosario Ferré, Albalucía Angel, and Isabel Allende. New York: Peter Lang, 2003.

                                       Emily Berquist

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