Nieves y Bustamante, María (1865/1871–1947/1948)

views updated

Nieves y Bustamante, María (1865/1871–1947/1948)

The Peruvian writer María Nieves y Bustamante is best known for her two-volume masterpiece, Jorge; o, El hijo del pueblo (1892). Besides being a historical novel—that is to say, a narrative whose action takes place before the author's birth—Jorge also breaks ground as both a costumbrista and regional novel. Its history centers on the 1856–1858 civil war between the caudillos Ramón Castilla and Manuel Ignacio Vivanco, the author taking sides with the latter. Its costumbrismo resides in the portrayal of the people and their customs and specifically in practices associated with class and race, for the novel's protagonist, Jorge, is a mestizo. It is regionalist because the action does not concentrate on Lima (as was common for that time), nor on the Andes as a rural society (an up-and-coming trend during the period), but on Arequipa, Peru's second-largest city. Arequipa is portrayed as having a sophisticated, albeit culturally insensitive elite. The idea of a regional novel was both new and controversial. Clorinda Matto de Turner also dealt with this war in her second novel Indole, which she subtitled "Peruvian Novel," thereby taking sides with General Castilla's nation-building stance.

See alsoCastilla, Ramón; Literature: Spanish America; Matto de Turner, Clorinda; Vivanco, Manuel Ignacio.


Primary Works

Matto de Turner, Clorinda. Índole. Lima: Tipo Litograrafía, 1891.

Nieves y Bustamante, María. Jorge; o, El hijo del pueblo. Arequipa: Imprenta de la Bolsa, 1892.

Secondary Works

Ferreira, Rocío. "Nación y narració n/Historia y ficción en Jorge o El hijo del pueblo." Lucero: A Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies 8 (Spring 1997): 23-37.

Ward, Thomas. "Perú y Ecuador." La narrativa histórica de escritoras latinoamericanas, edited by Gloria da Cunha, 271-305. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Corregidor, 2004: 271-305.

                                        Thomas Ward