In recent reinterpretations of the Caribbean dictatorial past, Caribbean American writers living in the United States challenge the Latin American dictator novel genre as a discursive tradition that reduces Caribbean culture to specific representations of power, oppression, and identity anchored in the political upheavals of the Cold War. This essay examines how the contemporary Caribbean writers Julia Álvarez, Junot Díaz, and Edwidge Danticat use familial dynamics to bring forth the multifaceted and complex realities of transnational communities, dispel ideas of cultural legitimacy based on exclusionary practices, disrupt everyday practices of cultural consumption, and empower Caribbean subjects to claim agency over their own stories and experiences.
Familial Longings: Trans-Caribbean Narratives of Dictatorship and the Latin American Imaginary
Daynalí Flores-Rodríguez is an assistant professor of Hispanic studies at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington. She is a critical and creative writer whose scholarly work engages discursive and cultural transactions among Latin American, Caribbean, and Latin@ communities around the globe. Her reviews, articles, and translations have appeared in The Black Scholar, Callaloo, Antípodas, Cua.dri.vi.um, Discourse, and Cuadernos del CILHA (Centro de Estudios Interdisciplinarios de Hispanoamérica). Currently, she distributes her time as an independent consultant editor, translator, and educator.
Daynalí Flores-Rodríguez; Familial Longings: Trans-Caribbean Narratives of Dictatorship and the Latin American Imaginary. Small Axe 1 November 2019; 23 (3 (60)): 69–85. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-7912334
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