When Shawn Doubiago graduated from high school, she and her mother Sharon, embarked on a journey through Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. In Cuzco, Peru, standing before an alter where the Incas had sacrifced their female virgins, the daughter asked, “Are there any good men?” South American Mi Hija is Sharon Doubiago’s reply.
Set amidst the mysteries and tragedies of South American culture, this book-length narrative poem is both an account of their journey and a feminist exploration of the struggle between the sexes.
This saga submerges into the deep dismembered body of both woman and the Americas as Doubiago fans the great fires of the lyrical oracle—the great female reflection of the matriarchal body—alive and electric.
She is sexual without submission, loving without loss of self, and free without rebellion. With a poet's power and a novelist's scope she describes new feelings, new possibilities, and a new closeness to the natural world.
Not since Whitman and Crane has a book-length poem had this passion, power and originality. . . it is the finest poem of its kind to be written by a woman since Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh . . . [but] it is wholly in the American grain, in the broadest sense—and that includes Latin America, as it should. A brilliant piece of poetry, rhetoric and instruction by a dazzling talent.
Holding South America Mi Hija together are beautifully connected networks of reference and allusion; a coherent narrative voice; and a message about gender.
Sharon Doubiago is the greatest poet of my generation.
A true tour de force, as it utters truths that still have not been heard enough, and utters them from the heart.
The best long poem written by anyone of my generation. . . . There is no more vivid book that South America Mi Hija.
Sharon Doubiago is the author of three book-length poems: South America Mi Hija; The Husband Arcane: The Arcane of O; and Hard Country. Her poetry collections include: Psyche Drives the Coast: Poems, 1975-1987; Body & Soul; and Greatest Hits, 1976-2003. Doubiago is also the author of two short story collections: The Book of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes and El Ni–o. She is the recipient of three Pushcart Prizes and has twice been nominated for the National Book Award.