This review essay focuses on a critical reading of Vanessa Pérez-Rosario's book Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon with the aim to shed light on these following questions: How can we read the writing of community in the work of Julia de Burgos? And to what extent do exile and the condition of the living-dead reproduce distinct dynamics and re-interpretations of Burgos? Departing from Jean Luc Nancy's notion of community as “the excess that make[s] up finite being” and the Freudian notion of mourning in relation to diaspora communities, the author examines the ontological, diaspora, racial, and ethnic readings of Pérez-Rosario's work about Burgos and how these readings articulate contemporary notions of Puerto Ricanness and latinidad in the United States.

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