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Loving in the War Years

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  907 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Weaving together poetry and prose, Spanish and English, family history and political theory, Loving in the War Years has been a classic in the feminist and Chicano canon since its 1983 release. This new edition—including a new introduction and three new essays—remains a testament of Moraga's coming-of-age as a Chicana and a lesbian at a time when the political merging of t ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by South End Press
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Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Don't really know how to write a review. Forgive me if I do this wrong.

All I can really say, as an American Asian-Chicana Latina who has questioned everything in her life...probably more than once, Cherrie Moraga validated me.

Jun 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book made me want to write about my personal experiences with regards to feminism, sexism and racism. It is inspirational but also challenging in the sense that I don't know if I could ever understand Moraga's perspective. Her values and ideas are clearly expressed but they are still difficult to grasp. Too often I felt like the world was split between oppressor and oppressed. What happens to those who are both? She exposes the elitism and cultural solipsism of literary critics, but does no ...more
Corinne  E. Blackmer
Oct 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: contemporary, fiction, gay
A highly politicized and propagandistic novel that includes indifferent poetry. The quasi-surrealistic story line posits that life for a Mexican-American lesbian amounts to life during a war; a proposition that anyone who has ever been in a war will find highly questionable. Granted that she uses the word war metaphorically, it still seems a grandiosely self-inflated description of her conflict with a homophobic mother (and culture). The use of postmodern literary techniques is gimmicky, the cha ...more
D'Argo Agathon
Oct 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: border-theory
Lots of bad poetry; some really good poetry; lots of really interesting personal points, gender theory, and chicana theory, that are made far better -- and far more clearly -- than Anzaldua's Borderlands; and a few stories that seem like ramblings. This collection of ideas is certainly not "just okay", but I wouldn't call it great, either.
Aug 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: never-finished
so im still reading this and it is really intense and slightly frustrating because some of it is written in spanish and i dont know spanish but its a beautiful book with lots of really valuable and thoughtful and thought provoking (the best kind) of ideas and insights.
I really wanted to love this book. I didn't hate it, but I didn't really like it either. She's smart and what she says make sense. It was just hard to get through. This was something I read for school and I'm stubborn and wanted to finish this book to meet my good reads goal.
Chicana, lesbian, woman, American, feminist, mixed race, Mexican. Cherríe Moraga writes on all of these identities in this collection of poems and essays that tell her life story (thematically, not chronologically). This collection is really hit and miss for me. I enjoy and get a lot out of some of her essays and I love how fluidly she moves between English and Spanish. She doesn't care to be understood, just to tell her story (in regard to language and content). I really like that approach in s ...more
Elena Astilleros
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cherrie was the first leftist Latina writer that I read, understood, and could grapple with. Grateful for that. We need more writers like her.

Her lyrical poetry still sits on my tongue, appearing my language daily.
Frank García
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“A Long Line of Vendidas” is one of the most influential essays in Chicana/o lit. Buy dis.
In this volume Moraga delves into personal experience, exploring her family's history, strengths and sadnesses in poetry and prose and in Spanish and English. Moraga writes about forging her identity from disparate pieces: she's a Chicana lesbian whose looks allowed her to pass for white and who is learning to speak Spanish later in life.

Maybe I've been in the ivory tower for too long, but I liked her 'academic' essays, like 'La Güera' and 'Lo que nunca pasó por sus labios', more than her poetr
Dec 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt, undergrad
Moraga's "Loving in the War Years" is frequently a beautiful and moving experience-her writing is precise and engaging, her message is lucid, and you'll find yourself often wanting to highlight and re-read a passage.

But. Keep in mind that much of her feminism is now considered outdated--and in spite of this, her essays are still far more powerful than her poems. It was fascinating to see the ways in which her political/theoretical thinking was influencing her creative writing--she often pairs th
Just a note to say that the edition I read contained about 150 pages, while another widely reviewed edition of this work - with the same title - contains 264 pages. I don't know if the additional material would have made this a more satisfying reading experience, but the edition I read presented Moraga's work in a disjointed, fragmentary manner. Also, I have to say that I was largely indifferent to Moraga's poetry, which comprises more than half of the edition I read. Many of her poems are "poli ...more
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved Moraga's depiction of her mother and the death grip with which she held onto her. I relate to that fear of losing a mother very very much. When someone is so much a part of your heart and their face part of your comfort well. I get that learning of age and death as we come to terms with losing a mother. Aside from all that, such interesting feminist work. Poetry was beautiful, swept me along and the essays were insightful.
I wouldn't have re-read this if my co-teacher hadn't suggested we assign it in our experimental Queer Writing class, but you know what? It really holds up. And reading it on the heels of a bunch of New Narrative stuff made me think about how queer writers of color like Moraga have been fucking shit up for a LONG time--narrative, genre, gender etc etc--and not getting the cool points for it. What's that about?
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
I tried so hard to like this book and some parts and poems are awesome. The one which the title comes from is my favorite. BUT it's just so hard to get through. It's not difficult, but kind of uninteresting. The style of writing, I am not sure what, just didn't keep my attention. I had to force myself to read this book, and being a lesbian Latina I felt I should.
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I take you in my arms
in the ordinary bed of a california
valley roadside motel
unwind the crimsoncotton
wrapped 'round your hips
and I enter you as deep and as hard as we want
because you were there too dying
in the midday sun
singing to the same god
and we want to touch it somehow
because our bodies are remembering
we want to gather all the touch we can
before we go back!
Ruthie Jones
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
While I get the general point the author is trying to make, and I admire her courage and ability to express her sexual discovery and her struggles to identify, accept, and defend her identity as a chicana lesbian feminist, my initial impression of this writing is that it is a giant rant against all whites, all heterosexuals, and all men.
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-for-school
Incredible ideas and theory. I struggled to really "get" the book, but really enjoyed certain elements, and much of the poetry as poetry alone. Moraga has already been crowned as feminist royalty after reading This Bridge Called My Back, and I was happy to be reading some of her other work.
Mar 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book is filled with highlighting and notes that I wrote to myself. It really hits hard. Moraga doesn't hold back. She writes intellectually but also emotionally. I feel that this is something unusual, this strong combination of the mind and heart.
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Yikes! I finished this book back in January but forgot to write a review back then. Let's see… I enjoyed the essay portions, particularly the final essay on identity. I love Cherrie so pretty much anything she writes, I'm going to love.
Jan 12, 2008 rated it liked it
A mix of short stories and prose, spanish and english, gay and chicana. The text was an interesting exploration of the author's identity, but it was not everything I'd hoped for.

Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
this is a really really really good book
Joseramirez Ramirez
Apr 23, 2009 rated it liked it
A really awesome mix of poetry, autobiography, and feminist theory by Cherrie Moraga (who writes about the intersctiong of her chicana, feminist, queer, etc identities).
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
i re-read this book every four of five years and love it each time!
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I particularly liked what Moraga writes about La Malinche, La Chingada and Latin American sexuality. Spot on!
Christina Olivares
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Moraga's writing style is amazingly vivid - she just sucks you in.
Maria Patterson
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is life-changing. Beautiful and thought-provoking. Part memoir, part poetry, part Xicana feminist theory. "A Long Line of Vendidas" is especially thought-provoking and wonderful. Read it.
Miami University Libraries
Demere Woolway read a selection from this book during the 2011 Women's Read-In. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3563.O753 L6 2000
Kay Cid
Feb 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody!
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500 Great Books B...: Loving in the War Years - Cherríe Moraga 1 6 Jul 18, 2014 04:20PM  
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Cherríe Lawrence Moraga (born September 25, 1952) is a Chicana writer, feminist activist, poet, essayist, and playwright. She is part of the faculty at Stanford University in the Department of Drama and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Her works explore the ways in which gender, sexuality and race intersect in the lives of women of color.

Moraga was one of the few writers to write and int
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“It’s the Poverty.

I lack imagination you say

No. I lack language.
The language to clarify
my resistance to the literate.
Words are a war to me.
They threaten my family.

To gain the word
to describe the loss
I risk losing everything.
I may create a monster
the word’s length and body
swelling up colorful and thrilling
looming over my mother, characterized.
Her voice in the distance
unintelligible illiterate.
These are the monster’s words.”
“In this country, lesbianism is a poverty-as is being brown, as is being a woman, as is being just plain poor. The danger lies in ranking the oppressions. The danger lies in failing to acknowledge the specificity of the oppression. The danger lies in attempting to deal with oppression purely from a theoretical base. Without an emotional, heartfelt grappling with the source of our own oppression, without naming the enemy within ourselves and outside of us, no authentic, non-hierarchical connection among oppressed groups can take place.

When the going gets rough, will we abandon our so-called comrades in a flurry of racist/heterosexist/what-have-you panic? To whose camp, then, should the lesbian of color retreat? Her very presence violates the ranking and abstraction of oppression. Do we merely live hand to mouth? Do we merely struggle with the "ism" that's sitting on top of our heads?

The answer is: yes, I think first we do; and we must do so thoroughly and deeply. But to fail to move out from there will only isolate us in our own oppression- will only insulate, rather than radicalize us.”
More quotes…