Yáñez Cossío, Alicia (1929–)

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Yáñez Cossío, Alicia (1929–)

Alicia Yáñez Cossío, born on September 10, 1929, in Quito, is a writer and member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language. Yáñez's poetic motifs echo the themes of her fiction: Anti-establishment and anticolonial, she is concerned with social exploitation and justice in the developing world and the evolution of nationalism. Her work also addresses women's conditions, their contributions to society and difficulties in the face of discrimination; her female characters struggle for a decent and independent existence. She took up the lyrical genre with the poetry collections Luciolas (1949), De la sangre y el tiempo (1964), and Poesía (1973). Her first novel, Bruna, soroche y los tíos (Brun a and Her Sisters in the Sleeping City, 1972), which brought her critical acclaim and the prize for best novel of the year awarded by the El Universal newspaper, displays characteristics of the Latin American literary "boom." Her innovative formal techniques, such as corrosive irony, playfulness, and light humor, come into play in the short story collections Más allá de las islas (1980), Cuentos cubanos (1992), and El viaje de la abuela (1996); and in her other novels, La cofradía del mullo del vestido de la Virgen Pipona (The Potbellied Virgin, 1985), La casa del sano placer (1989), El Cristo Feo (1995; winner of the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz prize in Paris), Aprendiendo a morir (1997), Y amarle pude … (2000), and Concierto de sombras (2004). Her works broke new ground in Ecuadorian fiction, earning her a place of importance in Hispanic letters.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Works by Yánez Cossío in English Translation

Bruna and Her Sisters in the Sleeping City, trans. Kenneth J. A. Wishnia. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1999.

The Potbellied Virgin, trans. Amalia Gladhart. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006.

Works on Yánez Cossío

Angulo, María Elena. "La narrativa de Alicia Yáñez Cossío: Hacia la recuperación de un espacio social para la mujer latinoamericana." Letras Femeninas 21 (1995): 21-28.

Carullo, Sylvia Graciela. "La Casa del Sano Placer de Yánez Cossío: Aproximaciones a Lysistrata." Centro de Estudios la Mujer en la Historia de América Latina (CEMHAL) 6, no. 64 (2005).

Menton, Seymour. "Transformaciones: El Cristo feo (1995) de Alicia Yáñez Cossío." In Caminata por la narrativa latinoamericana. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2005.

Rojas-Trempe, Lady. "Alicia Yáñez Cossío." In Narradoras ecuatorianas de hoy: Una antología crítica, ed. Adelaida López de Martínez and Gloria Da Cunha-Giabbai, pp. 31-71. San Juan: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 2000.

Saine, Ute Margaret. "Female Representation and Feminine Mystique in Alicia Yáñez Cossío's 'La mujer es un mito.'" Letras Femeninas 26 (2000): 63-80.

                                 Lady Rojas Benavente

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Yáñez Cossío, Alicia (1929–)

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