Aurora Arias and the Urban Narrative of Santo Domingo


Dominican writer Aurora Arias was featured yesterday in La Ventana. Enrique Ávila López explores Arias’ short stories from the collections Invi’s Paradise y otros relatos [Invi’s Paradise and Other Stories (1998)] and Emoticons (2007) to highlight her innovative writing and her role in expanding the corpus of feminist literature.  Arias belongs to the 80s generation, which distinguishes itself from previous generations because many of its writers are based in the capital and focus on the city in their works.

Ávila agrees with critics such as Rita De Maeseneer, Odile Ferly, Carmen Pérez, Marcia Rodríguez, Néstor Rodríguez, and others, in saying that not only is “the city” central in Arias’ work but that she can be considered a “chronicler of Santo Domingo,” in de Maeseneer’s words. He considers that the writer’s contribution to feminism is greatly effective particularly because of her use of space. Her “urban narrative,” he says, attests to an engaged voice that critiques all the injustices of her time.” Ávila does a great job of examining the use of urban spaces and stresses that in Arias’ work the city is inextricably tied to the concept of dominicanidad.

Ávila also studies other themes that are scrutinized through a feminist lens, such as urban problems, violence in its many manifestations, sexuality, and Dominican identity. He is especially interested Arias’ use of the mother, the maternal voice, and unconventional, subversive mother figures as vehicles for her social criticism and to center on the concept of nation.

For full article (in Spanish), see

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