Hunger's Brides
Page Updated On: 09/14/2005

Biblioteca - the library


Libraries in the history of Mexico

In 17th-century Mexico, obtaining books entailed not just expense but risk. At least one book collector from that time ran afoul of the Inquisition and died violently in its prisons. A convent library was a significant resource. Nevertheless, Sor Juana maintained a very considerable library of her own, until her cell was stripped.

On this page

Our own library page contains the usual bookish things -- a rough bibliography of sources for Hunger's Brides, links to other online resources, etc.

But the main thing you will find here are excerpts from the novel, beginning with a couple of passages concerning libraries in Hunger's Brides.

SteerHead Links to online resources.

SteerHead An unfinished list of books and other textual sources ransacked for the author's crude purposes.

SteerHead Excerpts from Hunger's Brides...

Prologue -- written by the story's self-appointed editor, Dr. Donald Gregory.

Rose of San Jerónimo -- in the voice of Sor Juana's secretary during an outbreak of plague in 1695.

The library - denied access for years, Juana, aged eleven, finally gains entry to her grandfather's library.

The study - during Sor Juana's final years, the Archbishop's men come to the convent without warning to conduct an inventory of the contents of her library and of her studio, which houses an extensive collection of musical and scientific instruments, and curios.

Cassandra - Sor Juana writes to her intimate, the Countess of Paredes, who has returned home to Spain from Mexico City.

On Saint Catherine - learning that the carols she had written on Saint Catherine of Alexandria would never be sung in the cathedral, Sor Juana looks back on the feast of Saint Catherine during her own girlhood in the mountains of Mexico.

Science Queen - The Sor Juana of Hunger's Brides imagines a theology that does not pit reason against faith, the mind against the senses.

Gran patio - Sor Juana looks out over the gran patio of her convent, observing fragments of the lives of the two-hundred women who share the patio with her. 

The blond earth - Donald Gregory, the story's self-appointed editor, flies into Calgary from Mexico; he writes from a cabin in the foothills of the Rockies high above Cochrane.

Underworld - the journal entry of a young Canadian woman (Beulah Limosneros) on her first day in Mexico City.

SteerHead Collections of excerpts on special topics

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