In this Book

Troubling Nationhood in U.S. Latina Literature
summary
This book examines the ways in which recent U.S. Latina literature challenges popular definitions of nationhood and national identity. It explores a group of feminist texts that are representative of the U.S. Latina literary boom of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, when an emerging group of writers gained prominence in mainstream and academic circles. Through close readings of select contemporary Mexican American, Puerto Rican, and Cuban American works, Maya Socolovsky argues that these narratives are “remapping” the United States so that it is fully integrated within a larger, hemispheric Americas.

Looking at such concerns as nation, place, trauma, and storytelling, writers Denise Chavez, Sandra Cisneros, Esmeralda Santiago, Ana Castillo, Himilce Novas, and Judith Ortiz Cofer challenge popular views of Latino cultural “unbelonging” and make strong cases for the legitimate presence of Latinas/os within the United States. In this way, they also counter much of today’s anti-immigration rhetoric.

Imagining the U.S. as part of a broader "Americas," these writings trouble imperialist notions of nationhood, in which political borders and a long history of intervention and colonization beyond those borders have come to shape and determine the dominant culture's writing and the defining of all Latinos as "other" to the nation.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication
  2. pp. iii-v
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-vii
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction: Troubling America(s)
  2. pp. 1-28
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  1. 1. Spaces of the Southwest: Dis-ease, Disease, and Healing in Denise Chavez's The Last of the Menu Girls and Face of an Angel
  2. pp. 29-60
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  1. 2. Mestizaje in the Midwest: Remapping National Identityin the American Heartland in Ana Castillo’s Sapogonia and Sandra Cisneros’s Caramelo
  2. pp. 61-93
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  1. 3. Colonization and Transgression in Puerto Rican Spaces:Judith Ortiz Cofer’s The Line of the Sun and The Meaning of Consuelo
  2. pp. 94-126
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  1. 4. Memoirs of Resistance: Colonialism and Transnationalism in Esmeralda Santiago’s When I Was Puerto Rican, Almost a Woman, and The Turkish Lover
  2. pp. 127-153
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  1. 5. Tales of the Unexpected: Cuban American Narrativesof Place and Body in Himilce Novas’s Princess Papaya
  2. pp. 154-182
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  1. Postscript. The Illegal Aliens of American Letters: Troubling the Immigration Debate
  2. pp. 183-193
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 195-219
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 221-237
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 239-244
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 245-245
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