Latin America. Vibrant and diverse and complex and ever-changing. The mountains, the rainforests, the beaches, and the desserts are all full of stories that yearn to be told. To be known. Of voices that deserve to be heard.
As the writing and reading community develops, many have come to value diversity in fiction and understand the importance of searching for new perspectives. So today, whether you are a fantasy or romance lover, I encourage you to add these Latin American authors to your to-be-read.
Since the phrase’s inception in 1975, people’s awareness of the Male Gaze skyrocketed. Of course, the Male Gaze existed long beforehand, but creating a name for it drew attention to the issue. The Male Gaze concerns the way media, namely literature and film, presents women in objectifying manners, demeaning them into sexual figures for the sake of the male audience. What’s more, the character often comes off as passive, with little to no agency over the events of the story.
It’s an easy thing to spot in film – the camera unnecessarily pans up and down a woman’s body, or a costume piece rips into a sexy, revealing outfit, or the character falls and lands in a promiscuous position. Moments like these get tossed into the story for no reason. This happens in literature, as well.
The internet has taken over human-kind, now we cannot escape social media, not even in stories!
And to be honest, I’m quite okay with that.
Look, there is no shortage of stories that depict the perils of social media and with reason since these are very real, but sometimes I just wish for a story that treats the internet like we do- as part of everyday life. In which friendships, romance and self-discovery can become.
I used to hate talking to my friends online or through texts however, when the COVID 19 attacked I had to quickly assess my assumptions. I started to be more active online, eventually finding the TYWI instagram page that let me become part of this awesome team.
Spoilers for Normal People
Reading Sally Rooney’s Normal People is like sitting in a waiting room, but the magazine you’re reading is absolutely riveting. That’s probably the best way I can describe this book, and I say it in the best way possible. Normal People has this slow, meandering pace that does not agree with everyone, but that I personally enjoy.
The pacing of the novel is slow yet fast at the same time, it feels like it’s constantly building, despite being interspersed with flashbacks. It creates this strange reading experience, like you’re on a roller coaster that’s only going up – but the view is spectacular. It’s a strange way to tell a story, but for this narrative I don’t think it could have worked any other way.
Here’s a little behind the scenes for you: the JUVEN Press blog team meets every month to share ideas, updates, and chat about our articles. Often our conversations wander into tangents about books we’re reading, social issues we care about, or hypothetical articles we could write. This, readers, is an article spawned from one of those conversations. This is: Who Owns a Story?
Disclaimer: This is definitely one of the times a person uses “ode” without having any idea what they are talking about.
I must confess something…I have never finished the draft of a novel. All of my writing has either been short stories, short films, poems or articles.
For some reason I can’t do the long form. I think that as a writing community we give too much praise to the Novel ™ leaving other forms of writing behind. It seems as if the long form is the ultimate challenge to win the “writer” title; I mean just look at NaNoWrimo and how it is presented about being all about the highest word count (even if it isn’t).
So in this article I am going to do some self-care and sing (write) praises about short stories.
A quick heads up: Most, if not all of the works referenced in this article contain content that may be disturbing for some readers.
Climate fiction, dubbed cli-fi, centers around the cold and destitute future humanity sets up for itself by worsening the climate crisis. The term cli-fi was coined by freelance writer Dan Bloom in 2011 and rose to fame when Margret Atwood used it in a 2012 Tweet. Since then, there has been a spike in climate fiction from writers and activists all over the world.
Climate fiction brings to reality outcomes scientists use statistics to warn people about. Literature is well-known for increasing empathy and awareness in readers, and climate fiction does just that by reflecting the world humans already live in through the mirror of a climate-crisis ravaged wasteland.
Unlike the white, male-dominated traditional science fiction, climate fiction is more diverse, with women and people of color at the forefront. It is an international movement, from Indian writer Amitav Ghosh, author of both divisive climate change nonfiction and groundbreaking climate fiction, to Waanyi author Alexis Wright, author of The Swan Girl, a dark, stream-of-consciousness tale set in the near future where climate change refugees have found their way to Australia.
The truth is, the second-person narrator is confusing. This literary resource is rarely used when compared to its first and third-person peers. The less it is used, the less exploration of it we find, and this can present a challenge for writers. After all, we fear what we do not understand.
Personally, knowing the devices I use can be the key to turning obstacles into opportunities to grow as a writer. It forms a foundation and it gives me confidence in my work. It makes that blank page a bit less scary. Sort of like jumping from an airplane with a parachute. The adrenaline and expectations remain, but at least I am not falling to my death (dramatic, I know). So, in an attempt to motivate young writers out there to use this unique resource, I will explain the two main types of the second-person narrator, together with how can we use them and how to recognize them.
TW: mentions blood, death, and repression.
The last decade has seen an improvement in promoting diversity in the book industry. It does have a long way to go to be great, but it is an improvement nonetheless. But why are classrooms still so focused on western-centered literature? I’m writing this today to tell you the story of a group of friends from beautiful Latin American countries, who have impacted literature in ways you might not even be aware of.
The Latin American Boom started at the beginning of the sixties and continued throughout the seventies. This decade dyed Latin America’s cobbled stones red. Cuba, 1959. Castro, the infamous dictator, rose to power. His regime would oppress whoever opposed him. Ecuador, 1965. Troops marched into universities, subduing students and workers. Mexico 1968. Students protested on the verge of the Olympic Games, all attacked by the army. The phrase «Dos de octubre no se olvida» (October second is unforgettable) is still whispered among Mexican citizens. Brasil, 1969. Death penalty was approved for whoever dared stand against the government. Chile. Venezuela. Dominican Republic. Bolivia. All countries where people, specifically, students and workers who demanded change, were brutally silenced. All while the United States slithered around the continent, supporting whoever they found most convenient (Cinema 23).
El Boom Latinoamericano emerged in this context.
There’s a whole bunch of concepts out there named after dead people: Schrodinger's Cat, Occam’s Razor, Cole’s Law, and so on. Chekhov’s Gun comes into play in a lot of literary works, and understanding its function can turn it into a useful tool for your own writing.
Anton Chekhov, an author and playwright from the late 19th century, published hundreds of short stories and penned 17 different plays. With theatrical works such as The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, and The Cherry Orchard, Chekhov helped define the modernist movement. His plays often don’t focus on complicated plot lines – normally, the characters just try their best to figure out life. They’re grounded in realism, yet still come to life on the stage, and theaters continue putting on his plays over a century later.
The term “Chekhov’s Gun” comes from a piece of writing advice from the playwright himself. The rule states: “If in Act One you hang a pistol on the wall, then the pistol must fire in the final act.” It’s a tool for suspense – if you set up a potential catalyst, use that catalyst to escalate (or even resolve) the conflict.