Latin America has enjoyed a long and varied history of women writers. Before the end of the seventeenth century, the perceptive poems of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and the boisterous adventures of the disguised Catalina de Erauso were entertaining an international audience. In the twentieth century, the works of Gabriela Mistral and Isabel Allende would similarly command worldwide respect. This new encyclopedia surveys the work of nearly four centuries of women writers. In total, 267 women authors from 19 Latin American countries and Puerto Rico are represented. Their writings explore all areas of life, from childhood, love and sexuality to slavery, modernism and war. The scholarly essays describe the life, literary career and critical reception of each author. Major works, favorite themes and literary styles receive additional attention. While the emphasis is upon poetry, novels and dramatic works, biographies, letters, criticism, satire, travel and other genres also are discussed. Topical essays examine the use of eroticism, humor, lesbian themes, mother images and testimonials by Latin American writers. The majority of the featured writers were active in the late twentieth century, but more than a third were publishing before 1950. Lina Meruana and Ena Lucía Portela are the youngest of the featured writers. Argentina, Brazil and Mexico are the best represented national literatures. Each entry contains a list of representative works as well selected criticism. The index allows the researcher to find writers of selected genres and topics, including divorce, exile, gender, myth, national identity and social repression. A separate title index would have also been useful. Nonetheless, this ground-breaking exploration of women’s writing provides students and general readers with a substantial introduction to Latin American literature. This guide is highly recommended for academic and public libraries.