Recovering and Rewriting the Andean Feminine: Claudia Salazar Jiménez’s Fiction of the Armed Internal Conflict in Peru

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Claudia Salazar Jiménez’s (Lima, 1976) approach to writing fiction about a period of violence in Peru (1980 – 2000) is creative and disruptive, examining and contesting the partisanship and censorship that has shaped and silenced retellings of this history. Her 2013 novel, La sangre de la aurora, features three women characters who become targets of the sexual violence that characterised the actions of all the actors in the conflict. Salazar Jiménez’s contestatory retelling is boldly experimental with form. Stories are polyphonic and fractured, representing K’echwa in Spanish translation as well as including the languages of Shining Path, the Catholic Church, the security forces, popular song and journalism. This paper examines how Salazar Jiménez frames feminist versions of the conflict through these experiments which are read as a variation on the genre of testimonio as a mode of historical writing. Recent work has questioned the distinction between ‘creative’ and ‘objective’ testimony, linking that deconstruction to a more progressive politics of memory. The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2001-2003) and the testimonies it featured has been a particularly rich source for this kind of study in Peru, and Salazar Jiménez significantly engages with the work of the TRC. Parts of her novel can be interpreted as a narrative translation of one of the key pieces of evidence presented by it– the transmedial, itinerant photographic exhibition Yuya Yuyanapaq. Salazar Jiménez’s approach to historical fiction through testimony can then also be read as an activist intervention aimed at building collective memory and advancing transitional justice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen's Historical Fiction Across the Globe
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Jun 2023


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