Latino Literature in America

By Bridget Kevane | Go to book overview

emerges. In “Fiesta, 1980,” as the adults get progressively more drunk, they dance and shout “!Quisqueya!” the native name for the Dominican Republic (Drown 40). The narrator’s neighborhood, Washington Heights, or Quisqueya Heights, as some now call it (Winn 585), is to the Dominican Republic what Spanish Harlem is to Puerto Rico and Miami to Cuba. Díaz, like other authors in this book, pays homage to the little Dominican Republic, reinvented and re-created on the mainland. Salsa and merengue, the dance of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic respectively, is heard on the streets all day long. Spanglish is the spoken language of this mainland homeland. Díaz incorporates Spanglish without any italics. Mostly his Spanglish is a mixture of slang and curse words. He is not concerned with translating the Spanish terms for his readers. In this sense, like many writers included here, he emphasizes that Spanglish is the language of Latinos on the mainland and should no longer be considered a foreign language.


FURTHER SUGGESTED READINGS

Works by Junot Díaz

Díaz, Junot. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” The New Yorker (25 Dec. 2000 & 1 Jan. 2001): 98–117.

———. “Introduction.” The Beacon Best of 2001: Great Writing by Women and Men of All Colors and Cultures. New York: Beacon Press, 2001.

———. “Nilda.” The New Yorker (4 Oct. 1999): 92–97.

———. Drown. New York: Riverhead Books, 1997.


Other Suggested Readings

Paravisini-Gebert, Lizabeth. “Junot Díaz’s Drown: Revisiting ‘Those Mean Streets.’ ” U.S. Latino Literature: A Critical Guide for Students and Teachers. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000.

Perez, Loida Maritza. Geographies of Home. New York: Penguin Group, 2000.

Rocco, Claudia. “Nothing Sorry about Success of Author Junot Díaz.” , April 10, 2002.

Rosario, Nelly. Song of the Water Saints. New York: Pantheon Books, 2002.

Winn, Peter. Americas: The Changing Face of Latin America and the Caribbean. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992.

Zeledón, Maximo. “Dominican Dominion.” , April 8, 2002.

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