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Water Lilies

An Anthology of Spanish Women Writers from the Fifteenth through the Nineteenth Century

1995

Amy K. Kaminsky, editor

Water Lilies

Poetry and prose by Spanish women presented here in both English and Spanish.

A dazzling sampler of writing by Spanish women. These hard-to-find works, most translated for the first time, are printed on facing pages in Spanish and English and located within a critical, biographical, and historical overview.

A perceptive and thoughtful introduction sets the tone for what follows. This absorbing volume captivates the reader from the beginning.

Choice

A dazzling sampler, Water Lilies brings to light a rich and until now largely invisible version of Spanish literary history. These hard-to-find works, most translated for the first time, are printed on facing pages in Spanish and English and located within a critical, biographical, and historical overview.

Here are five centuries of writing by Spanish women, the unknown recovered from obscurity, the well-known seen as they rarely have been-in the context of a women’s literary history. Some of these writers, like Rosalía de Castro in “The Bluestockings” and Teresa de Cartagena in Wonder at the Work of God, question the relationship between the woman writer and the act of writing. Some, like the poet Carolina Coronado in “The Twin Geniuses: Sappho and Saint Teresa of Jesus,” overtly seek a literary tradition. Others, like Saint Teresa in her Life and Luisa Sigea in her poetry, provide touchstones for women in search of such a tradition.

Legends and stories of women’s friendships, the inconstancy of men, and the love of God; Spain’s first autobiographical text; secular and religious poetry from medieval through recent times; an excerpt from one of the few chivalresque novels written by a woman; a full-length Golden Age comedia: this is the wide range of works Water Lilies comprises. Brought together for the first time, the writers articulate their resistance to, and their complicity in, a literary history that, until now, has tried to exclude them.

Water Lilies

Amy Katz Kaminsky is associate professor of women’s studies at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Reading the Body Politic: Feminist Criticism and Latin American Women Writers (Minnesota, 1992).

Water Lilies

A perceptive and thoughtful introduction sets the tone for what follows. This absorbing volume captivates the reader from the beginning.

Choice

Kaminsky has done a great service to the profession with Water Lilies, if only because here she brings together works by such early writers as Florencia Pinar, Beatriz Bernal, and Sor Marcela de San Félix, for instance, which are not readily available in this country to non-specialists. The selection of authors represented is to be commended.

Revista de Estudios Hispánicos