Reconfiguring Traditional Domesticity in Latin American Women’s Testimonial Literature

  • Sofia Maniscalco Mason


The Latin American genre of testimonio provides intimate insights into the domestic lives of politically active women and records the transgression of patriarchal boundaries, notably women’s historic relegation to the domestic sphere and exclusion from the political realm. With a focus on three examples of the testimonial genre, from Peru, Honduras and El Salvador, this chapter argues that domestic space is reimagined in the texts as a nucleus of political activity and ideological development. As opposed to being imprisoned in the home, the women politicise their domestic relationships with their children, male partners and female relatives. Grandmothers, mothers and daughters unite to reconfigure traditional, nuclear family arrangements. Machismo, or sexism, and the public/private division historically inherent in political movements are explicitly challenged by the women who condemn the double standards of male ‘comrades’ while revealing the public and private realms to be entirely interdependent.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal Holloway, University of LondonEghamUK

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