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Oshun's Daughters

The Search for Womanhood in the Americas

Vanessa K. Valdés

Publication Year: 2014

Examines the ways in which the inclusion of African diasporic religious practices serve as transgressive tools in narrative discourses in the Americas.

Published by: State University of New York Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

First and foremost, I thank God for all of His blessings, for His me on this journey, and the orishas, for providing me with their guidance this truly would not have been possible. I thank Leroy Martin Bess for his love and generosity; Mercedes Emilia Robles for always being there. Thank you to the friends I?ve made over ...

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Introduction: The Call: Hearing the Flow of the River

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pp. 1-18

Oshun?s Daughters: The Search for Womanhood in the Americas examines the ways in which the inclusion of African diasporic religious practices serves as a transgressive tool in narrative discourses in the Americas. This study analyzes several representative novels and poems in an e? ort United States, Cuba, and Brazil. All of these works prominently feature ...

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One: Diasporic Revelation: Audre Lorde, Sandra María Esteves, and Ntozake Shange

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pp. 19-56

Throughout her first novel, Ntozake Shange makes numerous references to the history of the Middle Passage, the dispersal descendants. Her protagonists are in contact with these spirits through their artistic expression: they play music, dance, and weave. The spirits communicate with them in their dreams as well as in their chosen professions; they inform every decision these young women make in ...

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Two: The Search for Home: Cristina García and Loida Maritza Pérez

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pp. 57-84

...before but I?ve never gone inside. Today, it seems, there?s nowhere Since being removed from her grandmother?s care when she was two years old and leaving Cuba with her family in 1961, Pilar Puente has searched for home. Throughout her adolescence, she uses visual art as a means by which to express her feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and uprootedness. While these feelings may be characteristic of adolescence ...

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Three: Love, Revolution, Survival: Nancy Morejón and Daína Chaviano

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pp. 85-118

...who am I / that I go again through the streets, among orichas, / nada escape a su control. Por eso la cama es el ?nico sitio donde Tyrants love controlling even the orgasms of their subjects; not because of puritanism but because they cannot bear that anything escapes their control. For this reason the bed is the only place ...

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Four: Sacrifice and Salvation: Helena Parente Cunha, Sônia Fátima da Conceição, and Conceição Evaristo

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pp. 119-162

...as malhas da rede, por fi m me livro de todas as correntes. O meu Little by little, I am undoing a knot, casting o? a chain, then the mesh of the net, fi nally I free myself of all restraints. My limitless and liberated body fl ows into unforeseen rivers, crossing The girl was never hers. She was returning to the river, to the ...

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Conclusion: The Response: Reflections in the Mirror

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pp. 163-166

Chaviano?s reminder about never renouncing the pleasure of one?s self is an important call to her audience. For women authors across the Americas, the spiritual entity known alternatively as Osh?n, or Oxum, is representative not only of pleasure itself, sexual or otherwise, but indeed calls for recognition of all of the aspects of one?s self. In her ...


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pp. 167-186

Works Cited

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pp. 187-200


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pp. 201-210

Back Cover

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pp. 222-222

E-ISBN-13: 9781438450445
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438450438

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 868930220
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Oshun's Daughters

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Women and literature -- America.
  • Yoruba (African people) in literature.
  • African diaspora.
  • Women in literature.
  • Cuban literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
  • Brazilian literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
  • Yoruba (African people) -- Cuba.
  • Yoruba (African people) -- Brazil.
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