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Family Matters

Puerto Rican Women Authors on the Island and the Mainland

Marisel C. Moreno

Publication Year: 2012

Adopting a comparative and multidisciplinary approach to Puerto Rican literature, Marisel Moreno juxtaposes narratives by insular and U.S. Puerto Rican women authors in order to examine their convergences and divergences. By showing how these writers use the trope of family to question the tenets of racial and social harmony, an idealized past, and patriarchal authority that sustain the foundational myth of la gran familia, she argues that this metaphor constitutes an overlooked literary contact zone between narratives from both sides. Moreno proposes the recognition of a "transinsular" corpus to reflect the increasingly transnational character of the Puerto Rican population and addresses the need to broaden the literary canon in order to include the diaspora. Drawing on the fields of historiography, cultural studies, and gender studies, the author defies the tendency to examine these literary bodies independently of one another and therefore aims to present a more nuanced and holistic vision of this literature.

Published by: University of Virginia Press


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title page

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

This book represents the culmination of a great deal of effort, and like everything else in my life it isn’t something that I accomplished alone. A lot of people supported me along the way: family, friends, colleagues, and mentors put their trust in me and in this project. I can hardly imagine having succeeded ...

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Introduction: Family Matters

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pp. 1-14

On September 23, 2009, a group of Puerto Ricans in Hartford, Connecticut, participated in a historic occasion: the unveiling of the first Monumento a la Familia Puertorriqueña (Monument to the Puerto Rican Family).1 As trivial as this event may seem, its significance in the historical context of Puerto Rican ...

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1. The Literary Canon and Puerto Rican National Culture

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pp. 15-50

“At its inception national culture is really literary in nature,” asserts the critic Gregory Jusdanis, reminding us of the power of literature to create the illusion of unity among the various and dispa¬rate groups that constitute any given nation (xi). Literature is often seen as a “mirror” of the nation, ...

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2. Our Family, Our Nation: Revisiting la gran familia puertorriqueña

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pp. 51-89

Speaking to a public audience at the University of Puerto Rico in 1934, Emilio Belaval, one of the key figures of the generación del treinta, remarked, “In my opinion the great problem affecting Puerto Rico at the moment is that we are going through a truly messy period, mainly caused by the fact ...

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3 Retrieving the Past: The “Silenced” Narrate

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pp. 90-129

“Toda memoria es siempre una memoria rota, es decir, fracturada, fragmentada” (Every memory is always a broken memory, that is to say, fractured, fragmented), declares Carlos Pabón, echoing the title of one of Arcadio Díaz Quiñones’s most influential essays, “La memoria rota” (The broken memory) (239). ...

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4 Patriarchal Foundations: Contesting Gender/Sexual Paradigms

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pp. 130-168

In addition to the principles of harmony/racial democracy and a glorified past that have been the subjects of the two previous chapters, the claim of unity under an authoritarian, yet benevolent, father figure completes la gran familia puertorriqueña. The myth’s reconceptualization of the hacienda economy ...

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pp. 169-178

In 1957 DIVEDCO issued the booklet La mujer y sus derechos (Women and their rights), written and edited by René Marqués. Published immediately after Los derechos del hombre (The rights of man), La mujer sought to trace how far the struggle for women’s rights had advanced and how much Puerto Rican women ...


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pp. 179-210


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pp. 211-222


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pp. 223-235

E-ISBN-13: 9780813933337
E-ISBN-10: 0813933331
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813933313
Print-ISBN-10: 0813933315

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 811411339
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Family Matters

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Subject Headings

  • American literature -- Puerto Rican authors -- History and criticism.
  • Puerto Rican literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
  • Families in literature.
  • Feminism and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • American literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
  • Puerto Rican women -- United States -- Intellectual life.
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