Identity, Diaspora and Return in American Literature  book cover
1st Edition

Identity, Diaspora and Return in American Literature

ISBN 9781138547421
Published February 6, 2018 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

This volume combines literary analysis and theoretical approaches to mobility, diasporic identities and the construction of space to explore the different ways in which the notion of return shapes contemporary ethnic writing such as fiction, ethnography, memoir, and film. Through a wide variety of ethnic experiences ranging from the Transatlantic, Asian American, Latino/a and Caribbean alongside their corresponding forms of displacement - political exile, war trauma, and economic migration - the essays in this collection connect the intimate experience of the returning subject to multiple locations, historical experiences, inter-subjective relations, and cultural interactions. They challenge the idea of the narrative of return as a journey back to the untouched roots and home that the ethnic subject left behind. Their diacritical approach combines, on the one hand, a sensitivity to the context and structural elements of modern diaspora; and on the other, an analysis of the individual psychological processes inherent to the experience of displacement and return such as nostalgia, memory and belonging. In the narratives of return analyzed in this volume, space and identity are never static or easily definable; rather, they are in-process and subject to change as they are always entangled in the historical and inter-subjective relations ensuing from displacement and mobility. This book will interest students and scholars who wish to further explore the role of American literature within current debates on globalization, migration, and ethnicity.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Roots and Routes in American Literature about Return  Maria Antònia Oliver-Rotger  Part I: Return as Memory Reconstructed  1. Migration, Exclusion, and "Home" in Edwidge Danticat’s Narratives of Return  Valerie Kaussen  2. Between Home and Loss: Inscribing Return in Ruth Behar’s An Island Called Home  Rocio G. Davis  3. Nightmares from My Parents: Return as Recovery in Doan Hòang’s Oh, Saigon  Aitor Ibarrola-Armendariz  Part II: Restorative Nostalgias: Return as Emotional Re-Attachment  4. Andrew Lam’s Narratives of Return: From Viet Kieu Nostalgia to Discrepant Cosmopolitanisms  Begoña Simal González  5. Returning Home: Iranian-American Women’s Memoirs and Reflective Nostalgia  Persis Karim  6. Enacting an Identity by Re-Creating a Home: Eleni Gage’s North of Ithaka  Eleftheria Arapoglou  7. El vaivén de la vida: Musings on Deterritorialized Border Subjects  Norma E. Cantú  Part III: Impossible Returns  8. Cuban Geographies: The Roots/Routes of Ana Menéndez Narratives  Ada Ortuzar-Young  9. "The Inextinguishable Longings for Elsewheres": The Impossibility of Return in Junot Díaz  Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez  10. Returning to Places of No Return in the Stuart Dybek’s Short Stories  Tamas Dobozy

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Maria Antònia Oliver-Rotger is Associate Professor of English in the Department of Humanities at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain. She is the author of Battlegrounds and Crossroads: Social and Imaginary Space in Writings by Chicanas (2003).