Abstract

This article demonstrates how Chilean Marcela Serrano’s fiction posits a political value for women readers in bonding through texts. It argues there is clear evidence of a project to model text-mediated relationships with and among her readers that can encourage women to construct more rewarding self-definitions. This project’s logistical hub resides in Serrano’s Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (1999), a novel that features a female detective and exhibits for women readers a step-by-step approach toward establishing empowering connections. This article examines this process of reading-to-connect as instantiating the feminist model of reading based on intersubjective encounters among woman reader, text, and woman writer discussed in Schweickart (1986), drawing on Adrienne Rich’s search for connection with Emily Dickinson. To provide insight into the dynamics of cultivating reading-based bonds, both within and beyond Serrano’s text, this articles uses conceptual tools from Italian feminism’s practice of relations. To assess Serrano’s putative project of connecting women through the writing and reading of female characters’ life stories, it adduces results from a reader response questionnaire conducted with a sample of Serrano’s readers. Their responses indicate that reading Serrano’s fiction can open up for women readers a space of female sociality that validates and encourages female desires.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2155-7888
Print ISSN
2168-0604
Pages
pp. 45-72
Launched on MUSE
2016-06-28
Open Access
No
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