A Wild Country Out in the Garden

A Wild Country Out in the Garden

The Spiritual Journals of a Colonial Mexican Nun
Distribution: World
Publication date: 12/22/1999
Format: Hardback 9 b&w photos, 1 bibliog., 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-33581-4
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Madre Maria de San Jose (1656 - 1719)—mystic, chronicler, and co-founder of an Augustinian convent—inscribed her life story within the model of spiritual autobiography set by St. Augustine and Teresa of Avila, but at the same time included her individual story as a seventeenth-century woman of the landowning classes in New Spain. The resulting manuscript records in intimate detail her family life, convent surroundings, and social milieu; it introduces us to a combative and engaging person and gives us a rare and vivid glimpse of a complex society.

Author Bio

Kathleen A. Myers is a professor of Spanish and adjunct professor of History at Indiana University. Her publications include Word from New Spain: The Spiritual Autobiography of Madre Maria de San Jose (Liverpool University Press, 1993) and numerous articles on a variety of religious women and writers in colonial Spanish America. She has received a grant from the Spanish Ministry for Education and Culture for her work on autobiography and sixteenth-century chronicles of America.

Amanda Powell, poet and translator, teaches Spanish/Latin American literature and literary translation at the University of Oregon. Her translations of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century poetry and prose appear in Untold Sisters: Hispanic Nuns in Their Own Works (University of New Mexico Press, 1989). With Electa Arenal, she edited and translated The Answer/La Respuesta by colonial Mexican poet Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (The Feminist Press, 1994). Her scholarly essays, translations, and poems appear in a variety of anthologies and journals.

Myers and Powell were awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support research and translation for A Wild Country Out in the Garden.

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Table of Contents

Translator's Note
Translated Selections
Chapter One: Maria de San Jose's World
I. The Palacio-Berruecos Family and the Hacienda Santa Cruz
Family Portraits
Religious Vocation and Family Relationships
II. Convent Life
Daily Life
The Spiritual Journey
Chapter Two: Gender, Tradition, and Autobiographical Spiritual Writings
The Tradition of Women's Visionary Writings
Imitation, Models, and Training
Maria de San Jose and Her Confessors
Narrative and Rhetorical Strategies
Men's and Women's "Vidas"
Appendix A: The History of Maria de San Jose's Writing Career
Appendix B: Outline of Volumes I-XII and a Chronology
Appendix C: Short Facsimile Selections of Maria de San Jose's Manuscripts