4-Week: Reading as a Writer—Rosario Ferré’s The Youngest Doll

$205.00 Members
$230.00 Non-members


Trees weep, dolls replace women, and ocean waves lap over gunpowder instead of sand. In The Youngest Doll, a classic of Puerto Rican literature, the fantastical supplants the mundane, and not by chance. The collection, composed of fourteen short stories and two essays, was written by Rosario Ferré, one of the most celebrated and trailblazing female authors in Latin America. Originally published as Papeles de Pandora (1976) in Spanish, the work was translated into English in 1991 by Ferré herself. The collection presents a strategy of cultural renewal by disarticulating a world where colonialism and the patriarchy oppress Puerto Rican women.

Magical realism is Ferré’s preferred ammunition in this literary battle and she employs it to tell truths that are difficult to digest if not expressed under the veil of the miraculous and absurd. Ferré’s own family anecdotes fuel many of these stories, where othered female characters question the power structures and create unexpected sisterhoods to liberate themselves. In this course, we’ll discuss how Ferré uses fantastical elements, rich sensory details, symbols, and irony to communicate her preoccupations. We’ll close read her short stories and study essays in which she dissects her writing process and explains how she combines literary pursuits with political activism. Writing exercises, such as pastiche, will help students hone their craft by learning and emulating Ferré’s techniques to explore subjects that matter to them.

Required Text:

The Youngest Doll, by Rosario Ferré

Instructor: Melissa Alvarado Sierra Learn More


Nov 25, 2020 4:00pm - 6:00pmDec 02, 2020 4:00pm - 6:00pmDec 09, 2020 4:00pm - 6:00pmDec 16, 2020 4:00pm - 6:00pm