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Denise Chavez Biography

(1948– ), Noviates, Shattering the Myth: Plays by Hispanic Women

critical university mexico hispanic

Hispanic dramatist, born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, educated at New Mexico State University, Trinity University in San Antonio, and the University of New Mexico. Her allegiance to the Southwest and the Latina experience has shaped her fiction and drama. While she grew up valuing education, Chavez was also critical, from an early age, of the institutions which can marginalize women and minorities. Chavez is a self-avowed ‘performance writer’; her first play, Noviates, was produced in 1971, and she has received critical acclaim. Her collection of plays Shattering the Myth: Plays by Hispanic Women (1992) attempts to bring critical attention to the often ignored contemporary Latina drama. She is celebrated for her lyrical blending of poetry and prose as well as her exploration of feminine consciousness. Her aesthetic is shaped by a contemporary concern for language games, politics, and the human psyche. Much of her work reads as extended monologue. Her numerous works include the collections Life Is a Two-Way Street (1980), The Last of the Menu Girls (1986), and Face of an Angel (1990).

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