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Traces of Lesbianism in Cristina Rivera Garza’s La cresta de Ilión (2002) and Valeria Luiselli’s Los ingrávidos (2011)
(pp. 60-72; DOI: 10.23692/iMex.13.4)

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Alejandra Márquez M.A.

Alejandra Márquez is a Ph.D. candidate in Spanish at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her dissertation project, “Dissident Female Desire in Contemporary Mexican Literature and Culture,” explores the intersections between different types of lesbian representation and issues such as gender identity and race. Her work has been published in edited collections such as Senderos de violencia. Latinoamérica y sus narrativas armadas (2015), and journals like Chasqui and Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea. Her research interests include the contemporary Latin American chronicle, queer narratives in Latin America, depictions of state-sponsored violence in contemporary Mexican literature, and gender relations on the U.S.- Mexico border.

Much research has been done regarding male queer narratives in contemporary Mexican literature. However, lesbianism has been greatly neglected by criticism. Although works such as Rosamaría Roffiel’s Amora (1989) or Sara Levi Calderón’s Dos mujeres (1990) have garnered some academic attention, little has been written about subsequent narratives. This article moves beyond those works whose main focus is lesbianism in order to understand how peripheral same-sex desire serves to undermine heteronormative patriarcal notions. I analyze Cristina Rivera Garza’s La cresta de Ilión (2002) and Valeria Luiselli’s Los ingrávidos (2011). Because these narratives are not associated with depictions of lesbianism, my work shows how transgressive female desire pervades contemporary Mexican literature.