Chicano/Chicana •  Gender Studies •  Literature and Women

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The Hungry Woman: The Hungry Woman: A Mexican Medea and Heart of the Earth: A Popul Vuh Story

Cherríe Moraga

In The Hungry Woman, an apocalyptic play written at the end of the millennium, Moraga uses mythology and an intimate realism to describe the embattled position of Chicanos and Chicanas, not only in the United States but in relation to each other. Drawing from the Greek Medea and the myth of La Llorona, she portrays a woman gone mad between her longing for another woman and for the Indian nation which is denied her.

In Heart of the Earth, a feminist revisioning of the Quichí Maya Popul Vuh story, Moraga creates an allegory for contemporary Chicanismo in which the enemy is white, patriarchal, and greedy for hearts, both female and fecund. Through humor and inventive tale twisting, Moraga brings her vatos locos home from the deadly underworld to reveal that the real power of creation is found in the masa Grandma is grinding up in her metate. The script, a collaboration with master puppet maker Ralph Lee, was created for the premiere production of the play at The Public Theater in New York in 1994.

In a Foreword to this edition, Moraga comments on her concerns about nationhood, indigenism, queer sexuality, and gender information.


Nationally recognized as a poet, essayist, and cultural organizer, Cherríe Moraga is coeditor of the feminist multicultural anthology This Bridge Called My Back. American Theatre has described her as a playwright "on the cutting edge . . . carv(ing) out the future of Chicano Theatre."


"The play is poetic but blunt . . . With humor, Moraga vividly describes the defeat of Lords of Death and the underworld in a playful ball game and the making of humans with maize. . . . the multilingual passages and multicultural allusions make these plays a challenge to read. Recommended for selected academic and public libraries."


Library Journal

Published By West End Press

6 x 9 in. 176 pages