Writing Afro-Costa Rican and Caribbean Identity
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Recognized as Costa Rica’s first novelist of African descent, Q uince Duncan is one of his nation’s most esteemed contemporary writers.1 The grandson of Jamaican and Barbadian immigrants, Duncan “remembers” the experience of the first generation of Afro–West Indian immigrants and that of their descendants...
1. Short Fiction
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Before the release of his earlier novels, Hombres curtidos and Los cuatro espejos, Duncan published short stories in newspapers, journals, and in stand-alone collections. Several of the author’s short stories address the peculiarities of the Costa Rican social and political landscape while others address more universal themes...
2. The Novels of Identity: Hombres curtidos and Los cuatro espejos
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Duncan’s first two novels, Hombres curtidos (1971) and Los cuatro espejos (1973) may be described as “novels of Afro–Costa Rican identity.” These early works center on the reconciliation of national and cultural identities—the fact of being black of West Indian descent and Costa Rican, in defiance of the leyenda blanca....
3. Novels of Samamfo: La paz del pueblo, Kimbo, and A Message from Rosa
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La paz del pueblo (1978), Kimbo (1989), and A Message from Rosa / Un Mensaje de Rosa (2007) have varied plots and themes, but these three texts share at the center of their narratives the Afro-realist concept of samamfo, which is characterized by ancestral voices, communication with the dead, and the connection to a...
4. Dismantling the Myths: Final de calle and El trepasolo
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The novel Final de calle (Dead-End Street, 1979 ) and Duncan’s only published dramatic text El trepasolo (The Lone Climber, 1993) present serious critiques of Costa Rican society by dismantling some of the myths of the nation. These two works, separated by almost fifteen years, are joined together in this...
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At the book presentation for Quince Duncan’s Cuentos escogidos (2004), an anthology of the author’s short fiction, held on August 31, 2004, at Costa Rica’s National Museum, literary critic and president of the Editorial Costa Rica, Albino Chacón Gutiérrez, made a series of accurate observations that are not often heard...
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Page Count: 216
Illustrations: 1 map
Publication Year: 2014