Ernesto Cardenal and Sergio Ramírez are two of the most influential Latin American intellectuals of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Addressing Nicaragua's struggle for self-definition from divergent ethnic, religious, generational, political, and class backgrounds, they constructed distinct yet compatible visions of national history, anchored in a reappraisal of the early twentieth-century insurgent leader Augusto César Sandino.
During the Sandinista Revolution of 1979-90, Cardenal, appointed Nicaragua's minister of culture, became one of the most provocative and internationally recognized figures of liberation theology, while Ramírez, a member of the revolutionary junta, and later elected vice-president of Nicaragua, emerged as an authoritative figure for third world nationalism. But before all else, the two were groundbreaking creative writers. Through a close reading of the works by Nicaragua's best-known and most prolific modern authors, Sandino's Nation studies the construction of Nicaraguan national identity during three distinct periods of the country’s recent history - before, during, and after the 1979-90 revolution.
Stephen Henighan offers rigorous textual analyses of poems, memoirs, essays, and novels, interwoven with a sharply narrated history of Nicaragua. The only comprehensive study of the careers of Cardenal and Ramírez, Sandino's Nation is essential to understanding transformations to both Nicaragua and the role of the writer in Latin America.
About the author
Stephen Henighan is the author of four books of fiction, including the novel The Places Where Names Vanish (Thistledown 1998) and the short story collection North of Tourism (Cormorant 1999), which was selected as a `What's New What's Hot` title by chapters.indigo.ca. His short fiction has been published in more than thirty journals and anthologies in Canada, Great Britain and the United States, and has been taught in university courses in Canada, the U.S. and France.
Henighan's literary journalism has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, the Globe and Mail, the Montreal Gazette, the Ottawa Citizen and many other publications. He has published scholarly articles on literature in major international journals such as The Modern Language Review, Comparative Literature Studies and the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies.
Lecturer in Spanish at University College, Oxford and Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, Stephen Henighan has also taught English as a Second Language in Colombia and Moldova, and Creative Writing at Concordia University, the Maritime Writers` Workshop and the University of Guelph. He currently teaches Spanish-American literature and culture in the School of Languages and Literatures at the University of Guelph.