When one thinks of “Latina writers”, immediately names like Sandra Cisneros, Laura Esquivel and Isabel Allende come to mind. Women with Latin roots who write about issues related to their ethnicity.
Several well known Latina writers do not have Latin surnames: Elena Poniatowska, Denise Dresser, Veronica Chambers. But no one would ever describe them as anything other than Latinas.
A third group are authors like Harriet Doer. Leonore Carrington and C.M. Mayo. These women, while not born in a Latin country write powerfully and seductively about Latin cultures.
So what is the definition of LATINA? Merriam Webster’s on line version offers this:
“1: a woman or girl who is a native or inhabitant of Latin America
2: a woman or girl of Latin-American origin living in the United States”
Maybe calling oneself Latina describes more than ethnicity? Perhaps it is a matter of sentiment and life experience?