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Subversive English in Raining Backwards: A Different Kind of Spanglish

From: Hispania
Volume 96, Number 3, September 2013
pp. 444-459 | 10.1353/hpn.2013.0067



This essay explores the relationship(s) between English and Spanish in the novel Raining Backwards (1988) by Cuban American Roberto G. Fernández. While the many linked plots and characters suggest many protagonists, this study demonstrates how language itself takes on the role of protagonist. Through the author’s use of calques and hispanisms, a seemingly English text uncovers the hidden Spanish of the novel. I argue that Fernández, therefore, creates a Spanglish text that, through the use of subversive English, provides a unique way of preserving the transcultural and linguistic memory of Cuban Miami.

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