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Women, Creole Identity, and Intellectual Life in Early Twentieth-Century Puerto Rico

In this book, Magali Roy-Fequiere casts new light on the Generacion del Treinta, a group of Creole intellectuals who situated themselves as the voice of a new cultural nationalism in Puerto Rico. Through a feminist lens, she focuses on the interlocking themes of nationalism, gender, class, and race in the articulation of early twentieth century Puerto Rican identity. Roy-Fequiere's discussion revolves around the affirmations and contradictions of the female intelligentsia, a cultural elite that sought to overcome American cultural hegemony by linking Puerto Rican identity to a white Spanish ethnic heritage, all the while negotiating their own precarious status within the male-dominated professional and intellectual spheres.The author also highlights the role of Margot Arce, a major essayist and intellectual who promoted this racially inflected discourse in her literary criticism. Arce's case parallels the thrust of the book in revealing the ideological alliances and tradeoffs made by female intellectuals in their pursuit of a unified sense of national identity in a racially heterogeneous and culturally diverse society. Author note: Magali Roy-Fequiere is Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at Knox College.