by Maja Horn
Literature and politics of the Dominican Republic often reflect notions of hyper-masculinity. Where did this attitude come from? Maja Horn doesn’t accept the common explanation of “traditional” Latin American patriarchal culture. Instead, Horn points to the U.S. military occupation of the Dominican Republic in the early twentieth century and the dictatorship (1930-61) of Rafael Trujillo. It was Trujillo’s government, says Horn, that made masculinist ideology popular—and so powerful that its influence can still be felt in Dominican culture today. She offers exciting new interpretations of such writers as Hilma Contreras, Rita Indiana Hernández, and Junot Díaz, revealing the ways they challenge dominant literary and political norms.