Trim: 6½ x 9¼
978-1-4985-0029-6 • Hardback • September 2014 • $108.00 • (£83.00)
978-1-4985-0030-2 • eBook • September 2014 • $102.50 • (£79.00)
Tamara L. Townsend is assistant professor of Spanish at Wheaton College.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Baggage Mode and the Scars of the Past: Self-Defining Memories of Abandonment
Chapter 3. Escapist Mode of Memory: Nostalgia for a World of Possibility
Chapter 4. Relational Mode of Memory: Interpersonal Conflict and the Life Review
Chapter 5. Amnesic Mode of Memory: Oblivion’s Effects on Identity and Relationships
Chapter 6. Conclusion: Memory as a Key to Personal Identity
About the author
Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, Tamara Townsend’s study on the construction and reconstruction of memory illuminates a fundamental theme in the works of Soledad Puértolas. In an era in which Spanish society is deeply immersed in the understanding of its historical past, Townsend’s insightful approach to the works of Puertolas also introduces readers to Spain’s sense of collective memory and national identity.
— Katica Urbanc, Wagner College
Tamara Townsend’s exhaustively researched, elegantly written, and cogently argued Memory and Identity in the Narratives of Soledad Puértolas is a significant and welcome contribution to the study of this eminent Spanish writer, one of the few women ever elected to the Real Academia de la Lengua in its 300-year history. Two decades after the only book-length study on Puértolas published in the United States, Townsend effectively brings criticism on Puértolas into the twenty-first century, detecting parallels between Puértolas’s texts and the ongoing memory debate in post-Franco Spain. Townsend identifies memory as the recurring, unifying motif of Puértolas’s narratives, and explores the different roles it plays (‘baggage,’ ‘escape,’ ‘relational,’ ‘amnesia’) in the construction of the subject, and the relationship between the self and society. Well-organized and ambitious in scope with close reading and insightful analyses of several of Puértolas’s novels and short stories, Townsend’s book is a compelling and necessary read for all students of contemporary Spanish literature and history, philosophy, psychology, and memory studies.
— Francisca González Arias, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
A fascinating study of memory in the narrative of Soledad Puértolas; Tamara Townsend explores the ideas of the Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica in relation to Puértolas' work, as well as the mysterious nature of memory in identity and how memory helps to ‘navigate the murky river of life.’
— Sandra J. Schumm, Baker University