After Exile: Writing the Latin American Diaspora

After Exile: Writing the Latin American Diaspora

After Exile: Writing the Latin American Diaspora

After Exile: Writing the Latin American Diaspora

Synopsis

Can an exiled writer ever really go home again? What of the writers of Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, whose status as exiles in the 1970s and 1980s largely defined their identities and subject matter? After Exile takes a critical look at these writers, at the effect of exile on their work, and at the complexities of homecoming -- a fraught possibility when democracy was restored to each of these countries.

Both famous and lesser known writers people this story of dislocation and relocation, among them Jose Donoso, Ana Vasquez, Luisa Valenzuela, Cristina Peri Rossi, and Mario Benedetti. In their work -- and their predicament -- Amy K. Kaminsky considers the representation of both physical uprootedness and national identity -- or, more precisely, an individual's identity as a national subject.

Here, national identity is not the double abstraction of "identity" and "nation, " but a person's sense of being and belonging that derives from memories and experiences of a particular place. Because language is crucial to this connection, Kaminsky explores the linguistic isolation, miscommunication, and multilingualism that mark late-exile and post-exile writing. She also examines how gender difference affects the themes and rhetoric of exile -- how, for example, traditional projections of femininity, such as the idea of a "mother country, " are used to allegorize exile.

Describing exile as a process -- sometimes of acculturation, sometimes of alienation -- this work fosters a new understanding of how writers live and work in relation to space and place, particularly the place called home.

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