The Answer/La Respuesta

The Answer/La Respuesta


Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Expanded bilingual edition, including Sor Filotea's letter and new selected poems.

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Paperback Edition
Publication Date: 06-01-2009

Edited and translated by Electa Arenal and Amanda Powell

Known as the first feminist of the Americas, the Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz enjoyed an international reputation as one of the great lyric poets and dramatists of her time. While earlier translators have ignored Sor Juana's keen awareness of gender, this volume brings out her own emphasis and diction, and reveals the remarkable scholarship, subversiveness, and even humor she drew on in defense of her cause.

This expanded, bilingual edition combines new research and perspectives on an inspired writer and thinker. It includes the fully annotated primary text, The Answer/La Respuesta (1691), which is Sor Juana's impassioned response to years of attempts by church officials to silence her, the letter that ultimately provoked the writing of The Answer, an expanded selection of poems; an updated bibliography, and a new preface.

"[The Answer] is eloquent, sardonic, learned and, particularly in its autobiographical part, of great freshness." —The Times Literary Supplement

"Of the several editions available, this one alone focuses its analysis on the issues of gender. . . . Recommended for informed readers." —Library Journal

"[The Answer], which includes a biography, bibliography, and chronology, renders the work accessible and fascinating to modern readers." Ms. magazine

"This is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand not only this remarkable woman, but also the whole world in which she forged her identity." —Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

"With The Answer/La Respuesta, readers in English gain more than a new version: they gain far greater access to the wide range of information one needs to approach Sor Juana as a knowledgeable participant in the discussion her work invites." —Carol Maier, translator of The Ravine (El Barranco)