About the author: James Higgins is Professor of Latin American Literature at the University of Liverpool. His main field is Peruvian literature, on which he has published numerous books and articles. He is an Honorary Professor of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Lima), a Commander of Peru’s Order of Merit and a Fellow of the British Academy.2002 0-7734-7277-0
This study pieces together an image of Peru as a society through readings of a corpus of literary texts dating from the Conquest to the 1990s. Some chapters focus on recurrent topics: the centralization of power in Lima; the position of the indigenous population; literacy as power; the issue of national identity in a country characterized by diversity. It also examines other literary motifs such as dramatic social changes, communities living in isolation; the mestizo condition; the hopes invested in modernization.
“The author is a scholar recognised internationally for his expertise on Peruvian literature, his History of Peruvian Literature (1987) having now acquired the status of a classic of its genre. The present book. . . develops naturally from the intimate knowledge manifest in the History, and offers a refreshing and innovative insight that will influence readers for years to come.” – Peter Beardsell