Renowned Author Visits Mercy

By Chantal O’Brien


Students and faculty members spent their afternoon listening to a lecture given by successful Latina author Luisa Valenzuela on April 18 at the Dobbs Ferry campus

The author, who is often compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is best known for Como en la guerra (1977), Cambio de armas (1982) and Cola de lagartija (1983), which discuss the political dictatorship and social classes in Argentina during the 1970s.

She shared her theories, experiences as an author, and life growing up in Argentina.

She inherited the writing gene from her mother and her passion for writing has taken her all around the world. She has won many awards such as the Kraft Award in 1965 and The University of Knox named her an honorary doctor.

Her work mostly consisted of short stories with an avante-garde style of writing which uses magical realism. Valenzuela often tried to show the meaning of her from a feminist point of view. She often explores gender roles in society.

While speaking to her audience, she touched on the subject on how gender often has an effect on the writing style of an author, and even boasts that she is able to determine the gender of the author when reading someone else’s writing for the first time.

Valenzuela explained that more women are being taken just as serious as their male counterpart in today’s literary world. Years ago, she claimed, there was not an abundance of female writers because not many people were willing to publish their work.

One can often hear a pin drop from time to time as this charismatic author poured deep thoughts to the people in attendance. She feels literature is the essence of one’s feelings, and emotions and people often say how they feel without actually knowing it.

As the lecture came to a close, the group was ushered into a reception area and some spoke to Valenzuela one-on-one. She often encouraged people to engage in a conversation she was having.

“I loved the discussion on the difficulties of fiction writing and I feel enlightened to know that there is meaning to everyone’s words, more than we realize,” confesses Ryan Ragano, Economics Major.