A Queer Mother For The Nation Summary

A Queer Mother For The Nation Summary

This book commemorates the life of Gabriela Mistral, a revolutionary Latin American writer who won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature (the first Latin American to do so). Right away, we learn that Mistral's legacy was partly inspired by her role in her community. In her community, she is viewed as a mother figure, a perfect care-taker. She was masculine as a personality, and although she was a mother to those around her, she never did have children of her own.

Fiol-Matta discusses the way Mistral's writing became so important to her and to Latin American people all over. Mistral's poetry comes under discussion, and also some details of Mistral's life around that poetry. We learn that Mistral had a keen eye for race, but instead of being a rebellious right-fighter, Fiol-Matta shows that actually, Mistral was open to collaborating with the government, as long as they were actually willing to help.

We learn more about Mistral's private life through examinations of her journals and essays. These, alongside photography of Mistral. In private, she understands a problem beyond race—there is a serious issue in the cultural opinions about gender. As a queer woman, Fiol-Matta shows that Mistral understands that her experience of gender as an inherently dangerous one, because it will challenge the status quo. However, the book ends by focusing on Mistral's rejection of cynicism, choosing hopeful collaboration instead of frustrated cynicism.

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