Unbecoming Nadie: Feminism and the Epistolary Form in María Lourdes Pallais’s Novel La carta

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-19-2021

Publication Title

A contracorriente: una revista de estudios


The “post-war” period of the 1990s in Central America has been marked by disenchantment and re-appropriation of the testimonial form. In this article, I argue that María Lourdes Pallais’s novel La carta (1996) combines these narrative tendencies in order to criticize the Nicaraguan Sandinista revolutionary project while advancing an autonomous feminist ideology, a reading that is sustained by the work’s epistolary form. Through the analysis of the letter-writing genre, we thus gain access to an interpretation of the novel that reframes the protagonist, Claudette, as a voice that questions authority, knowledge, and manipulation as discursive tactics that maintain society’s hegemonic status quo rather than as a victim of patriarchal politics.