Kate Jenckes is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan and the author of Reading Borges after Benjamin: Allegory, Afterlife, and the Writing of History, also published by SUNY Press.
Very little documented evidence is available about Doña Marina. This is the first serious study tracing La Malinche in texts from the conquest period to the present day. It is also the first study to delineate the transformation of this historical figure into a literary sign with multiple manifestations.
Cypess includes such seldom analyzed texts as Ireneo Paz's Amor y suplicio and Doña Marina, as well as new readings of well-known texts like Octavio Paz's El laberinto de la soledad. Using a feminist perspective, she convincingly demonstrates how the literary depiction and presentation of La Malinche is tied to the political agenda of the moment. She also shows how the symbol of La Malinche has changed over time through the impact of sociopolitical events on the literary expression.