Faculty Mentor

Dr. Constanza Lopez, Associate Professor

Faculty Mentor Department

Languages, Literatures and Cultures


During the last decade, there has been a revolution in Colombian literature. Whereas previous literature dealt with women within gender stereotypes, now there are more authors who write from a feminine perspective. One of them is Melba Escobar, author of La casa de la belleza. This novel tells the stories of Karen Valdés, a single mother and beautician who, after being raped, suffers symptoms of a mental illness; Sabrina Guzmán, an adolescent whom her boyfriend drugs, rapes, and murders; and Lucía Ramelli, whose ex-husband not only was unfaithful to her, but also took credit for the books that she wrote. The narrator of the novel is Claire Dalvard, a psychologist and client of the beauty salon where Karen works. This essay analyzes the cultural factors within Colombian society that permit the gender violence that Karen, Sabrina, and Lucía experienced, and it argues that the societal problems revealed in the novel are relevant not only to Colombia but to all of humanity.