Carmen Martin Gaite produced a large body of work in various genres over the course of her five-decade career, though she is primarily known as a novelist, short story writer, and social commentator. Her work at times reflects, and at times defies, the pattern of development in Spanish fiction since the 1950s. This Companion offers a re-reading of Martin Gaite's works, emphasizing her early experimentalism which culminated in mid-career works (notably "El cuarto de atras"), and stressing how, in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the majority of Spanish novelists were engaged in a critique of history, Martin Gaite turned to the writing of cultural history, exploring its intersection with narrative fiction in a positivist rather than a nihilistic mode. Her exploration of gender issues, particularly mother-child relations, towards the end of her career anticipated new directions in feminist thought. Discussions of often-ignored works, such as poetry, drama, children's literature, and literary translations, offer insight into sidelined aspects of this writer's literary output.
Catherine O'Leary lectures in Spanish at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and Alison Ribeiro De Menezes is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages and Literatures, University College Dublin.
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