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Crossing through Chueca

Lesbian Literary Culture in Queer Madrid

2011
Author:

Jill Robbins

Crossing through Chueca

An exploration of queer Madrid’s physical and symbolic literary culture

Crossing through Chueca examines how lesbian literary culture fared in Madrid from the end of the countercultural movement in 1988 until the gay marriage march in 2005. In examining how women’s sexual identities have become visible in and through the Chueca phenomenon, this work is a revealing example of transnational queer studies within the broader Western discussion on gender and sexuality.

With sharp and original analysis, Jill Robbins offers for the first time a profound investigation of the role of not only the formation of an urban gay community, but also of the participation of a local gay/lesbian bookstore on the visibility of lesbian culture and experience in Spain.

Inmaculada Pertusa, coeditor of Tortilleras: Latina Lesbians

In the past two decades the city of Madrid has been marked by pride, feminism, and globalization—but also by the vestiges of the machismo nurtured during the long years of the Franco dictatorship. Crossing through Chueca examines how lesbian literary culture fares in this mix from the end of the countercultural movement la movida madrileña in 1988 until the gay marriage march in 2005.

Jill Robbins traverses the various literary spaces of the city associated with queer culture, in particular the gay barrio of Chueca, revealing how it is a product of interrelations—a site crisscrossed by a multiplicity of subjects who constitute it as a queer space through the negotiation of their sexual, racial, gender, and class identities. Robbins recognizes Chueca as a political space as well, a refuge from homophobia. She also shows how the spatial and literary practices of Chueca relate to economic issues.

In examining how women’s sexual identities have become visible in and through the Chueca phenomenon, this work is a revealing example of transnational queer studies within the broader Western discussion on gender and sexuality.

Crossing through Chueca

Jill Robbins is associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas, Austin.

Crossing through Chueca

With sharp and original analysis, Jill Robbins offers for the first time a profound investigation of the role of not only the formation of an urban gay community, but also of the participation of a local gay/lesbian bookstore on the visibility of lesbian culture and experience in Spain.

Inmaculada Pertusa, coeditor of Tortilleras: Latina Lesbians

Reflecting a deep and insightful grasp of Spanish queer studies, Crossing through Chueca focuses on the increasingly globalized queer identity and book market in Spain, examining the changing publishing trends of the 1990s and its relationship to women writers.

Tatjana Pavlovic, author of The Mobile Nation (1954-1964): España cambia de piel

Crossing through Chueca is a historically grounded, theoretically agile, and politically engaged exploration of a place and time marked as much by the triumphant rhetoric of democratic consolidation as by the troubling persistence of repressive tolerance.

Brad Epps, professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Harvard University

[Robbins] successfully transfers her knowledge, crafting a fluid work that incorporates a myriad of political and literary sources to give an account of the impact of lesbian literature.

Choice

Crossing Through Chueca shows an impressive range of research combining archival work used for historical contextualization, interviews with authors and LGBT activists, participant observation of the author’s own (and seemingly thrilling) experiences in the queer spaces of Madrid, and a solid theoretical base that includes both Spanish and Anglo-American perspectives.

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Jill Robbins demuestra haber comprendido perfectamente que es el momento idóneo para detenerse y reflexionar sobre los merecidos logros de la comunidad homosexual en España y especialmente los relativos al colectivo lésbico en el madrileño barrio de Chueca, referente del movimiento gay que marca la pauta a seguir en el resto del territorio español.

La nueva literatura hispánica

Robbins’s groundbreaking book single-handedly establishes a new area of research for Spanish peninsular studies: the intersecting analysis of queer urban space and LGBTQ cultural production. At the same time, it adds much-needed intellectual legitimacy to the study of lesbian and queer women in Spanish culture.

Revista de Estudios Hispánicos

Crossing through Chueca

Preface: Marching toward Marriage
1. A Brief History of Chueca and Madrid's Queer Space
2. Lesbian Literary Identities in the Madrid Book Business
3. The New Safita: Andalusia and the Phallic Woman in Plumas de España
4. Lesbian-Themed Best-Sellers and the Politics of Acceptance
5. Dislocations: Identity and Communication in Cenicienta en Chueca
6. Popular Lesbian Fiction: Romance, Literature, and Legislation
Conclusion: Toward Lesbian Visibility
Acknowledgments
Bibliography
Notes
Index