“An Actress in a Play”: Service as Sacred Performance in Denise Chávez’s Face of an Angel

Part of the Literatures of the Americas book series (LOA)


This chapter examines the definitions and gendered mechanisms of service in Denise Chavez’s novel. The chapter shows how service is elevated as the primary sacred principle with which to contend and through which other issues are considered. The chapter goes on to discuss the rite of passage resolving how service will be defined for Soveida Dosamantes and how that ritualization involves a complex negotiation through the stories of the women in her family. Through her rite we find that the Book of Service is more than a manual for waitressing.


Chavez Trauma Performativity Testimonial God Angels Book of Service Rite Domesticity 

Works Cited

  1. Keating, AnaLouise. Towards New Politics of Representation? Absence and Desire in Denise Chávez’s The Last of the Menu Girls. We Who Love to Be Astonished: Experimental Women’s Writing and Performance Poetics. Eds. Laura Hinton and Cynthia Hogue. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2002. 71–80.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Miami UniversityCincinnatiUSA

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