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Diana L. Vélez


Diana L. Veléz was born in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico. Her family emigrated to the United States when she was four years old. She grew up in New York’s Lower East Side. She attended City College of New York and Columbia University, where she took her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in Spanish and Spanish American Literature. She teaches at the University of Iowa.


Reclaiming Medusa

Short Stories by Contemporary Puerto Rican Women

Edited and Translated by Diana Vélez

The short stories in Reclaiming Medusa bring a much-needed perspective to the Latin American literary scene. Creating spaces in which the socially prescribed "woman's place" is questioned, problematized, and often subverted, these narratives reclaim women's lost power in ways that are subtle, complex, and sometimes startling. This revised edition contains new stories by Carmen Valle and Carmen Lugo Filippi, as well as a provocative new "Translator's Note" by editor and translator Diana L. Vélez.


Reclaiming Medusa is an excellent beginning, something solid to sink our hungry teeth into. It signals the existence of an explicitly feminist literary arena in which Puerto Rican women on both sides of the water can begin hashing out the differences that go beyond choice of language—differences rooted in class and race, in the hope and desperation of migration and the slow poison of colonial rule.

—Aurora Levins Morales, The Women’s Review of Books


Any readers who still visualize the Latin American woman as either the cloistered daughter of aristocracy or the sturdy peasant bound to the soil in quasi-mystical communion will find it difficult to cling to such stereotypes after reading these thirteen stories by five contemporary Puerto Rican women writers.

—Belles Lettres

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