Approaches to Teaching Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman

  • Editors: Daniel Balderston, Francine Masiello
  • Pages: vii & 169 pp.
  • Published: 2007
  • ISBN: 9780873528184 (Paperback)
  • ISBN: 9780873528177 (Cloth)
Approaches to Teaching Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman Cover

“This is a remarkable collection of first-rate essays. The various discourses and approaches—political, sexual, intertexual, cinematic—all bounce off each other well and inform each other.”

—Bruce Williams, William Paterson University

Manuel Puig’s 1976 Kiss of the Spider Woman, translated into English in 1979 and adapted as an Academy Award-winning film, expanded the idiom of the novel (mixing cinema, fiction, romance, and song) and challenged the third-person narration that was dominant in Latin American Boom fiction. Students are drawn to the conversational style of the novel and the melodramatic seductions of the tale, but they need guidance to appreciate the novel’s richness as a work of literature. This volume of the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching series suggests ways instructors can help students grasp the novel’s exploration of state and sexual politics and discern the strategies of narration that underlie the conversations between the two main characters.

In part 1, “Materials,” the editors discuss versions and translations of the novel, provide readings and resources, give an overview of the historical and political background of 1970s Argentina, and outline the author’s biography. The thirteen essays in part 2, “Approaches,” written by distinguished scholars of Latin American literature, offer close textual analysis, examine the author’s use of cinematic references, and present suggestions for teaching Héctor Babenco’s film adaptation alongside the written text.

José Amícola
Idelber Avelar
Juan Pablo Dabove
Lucille Kerr
Suzanne Jill Levine
José Maristany
María Eugenia Mudrovcic
David Oubiña
Rosa Perelmuter
Ricardo Piglia
Juan Poblete
Graciela Speranza
Richard Young