The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004

Book Reviews

artwork is equally inaccurate. Figure 3.3 (p. 51) describes a late-nineteenth-cen-
tury Victorian house that "features both iron and brick-fronts." Unfortunately,
the picture shows a wooden beach cottage with wooden handrails.
Also, Hardwick's discussions on Galveston cultural diversity are problematic.
Her suggestions that Galveston's diverse culture draws much of its influence
from the Carribean, especially Haitian influences does not stand up to scrutiny.
Throughout the nineteenth century New Orleans was the leading cultural, eco-
nomic and social influence on Galveston. In the twentieth and early twenty-first
centuries the strongest cultural, economic, and social influences on Galveston
flow from Houston.
Anyone who enjoys studying Galveston Island will be greatly disappointed by
Susan Hardwick's Mythic Galveston: Reinventing America's Third Coast.
Texas A&M Unzversity at Galveston Donald Willett
Chicana Feminisms: A Critical Reader. Edited by Gabriela F. Arredondo, Aida Hur-
tado, Norma Klahn, Olga Njera-Ramirez, and Patricia Zavella. (Durham:
Duke University Press, 2003. Pp. xiv+392. Preface, acknowledgments, pho-
tographs, notes, contributors, index. ISBN 0-8223-3141. $23.95, paper.)
Eleven essays consider the meaning and theoretical concerns of writing from
a Chicana feminist perspective. Authors established in a range of fields, includ-
ing anthropology, literature, and history, contribute unique essays from their in-
dividual perspectives. Each offers significant insight into Chicanas' historical
experiences, representations, and creative expressions. Chicana-feminist ideolo-
gies appear as multiple, complex, and engaged with numerous dialogues and
constituencies. The editors note the important ways the variety of discussions has
been critical to the shaping and production of Chicana scholarship and artistic
work. They emulated that process of debate by providing a response paper from
prominent figures such as Renato Rosaldo for each essay. Taken together, the
collection shows the variation of recent Chicana feminist writing.
This collection's strength is the presentation of ongoing work by Chicana
feminists from diverse fields. Contributors discuss how their ideas about Chicana
feminism influence their work and research. Elba Sanchez, Norma Canti,
Amalia Mesa-Bains, and Olga Njera-Ramfrez contemplate Chicanas' creative ex-
pression in writing, visual arts, and music. Their essays, with their accompanying
response papers, highlight how Chicana artists challenge assumptions about
gender, national identity, and sexuality. Novels like House on Mango Street and
artistic displays created out of scrap material exemplify the ways that Chicana
writers and artists disrupt notions of stable and exclusive artistic genres. These
essays also raise questions, as best articulated by Ruth Behar, about the politics
and sacrifices of producing work that is seen by some as Ani aqui nz alldin (p.
111). Much of the strength of Chicanas' artistic work results from bending rigid
categories. Yet, that bending has also meant that their work is often contested or
has been dismissed.
Intermixed with the essays on Chicana creative expression, Maylei Blackwell,
Aida Hurtado, Norma Alarc6n, Rosa Linda Fregoso, Ellie Hernindez, Norma

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed July 10, 2014.