Genre Criticism: Is Testimonio A/Part of Creative Nonfiction?


Within ethnic literature, there appears to have been a rise in unique narrative styles. What was once considered a minimized form of expression, creative nonfiction as a genre is now evolving and includes a diverse group of authors. Yet, the usage of ethno-literacy styles in the creative nonfiction genre is still largely unnoticed amongst the academic community.

For students within academe, there is a limited comprehension of the expansive ethnic genres for writing and reading, simply that traditional genres of prose and poetry exist. Through analysis of the writing style know as testimonio within Latino/a literature, this thesis will attempt to dismantle the notion that one must write solely with traditional creative writing limitations. In particular, this research will focus on whether the testimonio writing style can be considered its own genre, or a sub-genre of creative nonfiction. It will also draw upon various feminist theories in order to show the perspectives and contributions of women within the genre. Furthermore, I aim to reconstruct such creative writing restrictions by providing a historical analysis and survey of literatures of both testimonio and creative nonfiction. For the survey of literatures, four creative nonfiction personal essays and four testimonios were chosen according to chronological and cultural influence. Nonfiction authors, Seneca, Michel de Montaigne, Virginia Woolf, and F. Scott Fitzgerald created the personal essays being analyzed. The testimonies that will be examined were written by Helena Viramontes, Sandra Maria Esteves, Dolores Prida, and Rigoberta Menchu. Finally, a synthesis of the research will be brought to close by including a creative piece that will aim to utilize a cross-blending of the two writing styles.


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Thesis Completion





Milanes, Cecilia Rodriguez


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Arts and Sciences



Degree Program

Creative Writing


Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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