Peruvian poet and revolutionary Magda Portal (1900–89) has long lived in the shadow of her male compatriots Victor Raúl Haya de la Torre and José Carlos Mariátegui—undeservedly so, as this poignant work by Myrna Ivonne Wallace Fuentes demonstrates. With rich, evocative writing and vivid descriptions of the worlds that Portal inhabited, Wallace Fuentes paints a portrait of a revolutionary in multiple senses of the term—in aesthetic innovations, in politics, and in her confrontation with the gendered constraints of the era. It is both an inspiring and a painful story of a human being demanding to be free—as an intellectual, as a writer, as a revolutionary, and as a woman—and the toll that such demands took.

The book is more than a biography. Wallace Fuentes uses Portal's life as a means to explore more broadly the creation and growth of the American Popular...

You do not currently have access to this content.