Although Chicana literature is generally thought to have emerged during the Chicano/a Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, scholars of Chicano/a literature have uncovered works by Mexican American women writers dating back to the nineteenth century. Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s 1872 novel Who Would Have Thought It? is recognized as being the oldest-known work of literature penned by a Mexican American (Martin-Rodriguez 67), and Isabella Rios’s 1976 novel Victuum is known as the first copyrighted contemporary Chicana novel (Eysturoy 33).
While ethnicity has been a veritable factor in the struggle for all Chicano/a writers to access a wider readership and enter the literary canon, Chicana women writers have had to overcome the added stigma of gender. Within the Chicano/a Movement, women
Citation: Herrera, Cristina. "Chicana Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 April 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1533, accessed 11 December 2023.]