Latin American Literature
comparative cultural studies
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AbstractIn his article "Is First, They Killed My Father a Cambodian testimonio" John T. Maddox discusses aspects of the testimonial. Dialoguing with leading Latin Americanists, Maddox argues that Cambodian writer Loung Ung's First, They Killed My Father (2000) challenges this uniqueness and opens studies on the testimonio to new possibilities for intellectual reflection and political activism. In Maddox's view, the continued use of the term testimonio would serve as a reference to this long-standing tradition of writing and thinking about political violence in Latin America. After a discussion of the debate of the definition and function of testimonio and a synopsis of Ung's work, Maddox argues that the ongoing intellectual debates regarding the testimonio, its form, its place in the literary canon, and its role in politics among Latin Americanists can also be applied to the work.