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American Literature

Josefina Niggli, Mexican American Writer: A Critical by Elizabeth Coonrod Martinez

By Elizabeth Coonrod Martinez

This is the tale of a striking girl whose inventive project used to be to narrate Mexican cultural background to English-language readers. A world-renowned playwright within the Thirties and best-selling novelist within the Forties, Josefina Niggli released at a time whilst Chicana/o literature was once now not but famous as such. Her works printed Mexico from an insider's standpoint, even supposing she chanced on herself suffering from publishers who sought after an American hero pitted opposed to a Mexican villain.M

Niggli's existence event transpired in Mexico, Texas, the East Coast within the pre-World conflict II years, and North Carolina, with jaunts to Hollywood and to England, all in an period whilst few U.S. ladies writers have been capable of put up. only in the near past has Niggli acquired severe realization as students of Chicana/o literature realize her as one of many earliest Mexican American writers to target existence lived among cultures and countries. This scholarly biography, along with choices from a few of Niggli's unrecognized writings, is designed to solidify her position within the literary canon.

"Elizabeth Coonrod Martínez's remarkable booklet, Josefina Niggli, Mexican-American author: A severe Biography, is an impressive contribution to the scholarly learn of the existence and works of the bright binational and transnational author, Josefina Niggli. From poems to brief tales and theatrical performs to novels, [Martínez] presents the reader with vast and certain biographical information interspersed with key choices of Niggli's lesser recognized or unpublished writings. Martínez's groundbreaking ebook can be a primary paintings for any destiny examine undertaken in this Mexican American writer's artistic creation and on Chicana/o literature in general."--María Herrera Sobek, writer of Chicano Folklore: A Handbook (2006) and affiliate vice chancellor on the college of California, Santa Barbara

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Extra info for Josefina Niggli, Mexican American Writer: A Critical Biography

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As it turned out, Koch’s program was a perfect fit for Niggli’s goals: his emphasis on down-home “folk” drama suited her purposes of adapting small-town Mexican life to dramatic presentations. Furthermore, the Carolina Playmakers was a cutting-edge theatrical company, with East Coast prominence and a close connection to New York City and the publishing world. Unbeknownst to Niggli, when she traded the hot, dry terrain of northern Mexico and southern Texas for the lush terrain and colder climate of North Carolina in 1935, it would become her home for practically the rest of her adult life, as well as the cradle of her future publishing activity.

Soldadera was also immortalized by being selected for publication in The Best One-Act Plays of 1937. This is the principal play by Niggli that is cited and studied in contemporary academic articles, most likely because of its portrayal of women figures in early twentieth-century culture. ) and Niggli’s novel Mexican Village have actually been discussed in contemporary criticism. In fact, Niggli’s entire literary reputation in the United States rests on Soldadera, and on the novel Mexican Village.

4 The scene for Soldadera is a campsite high in the Sierra Madre mountains, near the city of Saltillo (most of Niggli’s body of work would depict the geographic region between Monterrey, the Santa Catarina river valley to its west, and the nearest large city, Saltillo). The date is indicated as 1914. The women, with the exception of the group leader, are illiterate, much as the majority of Mexico’s Indian and mestizo population at that time. Thus, they can easily be duped by an intellectual from Mexico City—Niggli’s character “The Rich One”—who is a federal soldier held as a captive at the campsite.

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