New Immigrant Literatures in the United States: A Sourcebook to Our Multicultural Literary Heritage

By Alpana Sharma Knippling | Go to book overview

Earl Shorris observes in his brief discussion of Roberto Fernández in Latinos that, "[l]ike all emerging literatures, the work of the Latinos is a neighborhood conversation, people talking to each other of a shared experience" (386), but while this may well characterize Fernández or Rodríguez-Milanés or even Arenas, it seems less true of either García or Hijuelos. While the choice of audience may, in this case, help us to determine whose writing might ultimately be "more Cuban," what might be more important is the implicit acknowledgment among all these writers that fashioning a Cuban voice necessarily entails some negotiation of the voice and the attention of the overwhelming Other into whose immediate environs Cubans have ventured out of political and economic necessity.


Ironically, this struggle with, and against, symbols and images imposed on Cubans from elsewhere is being waged not only in the fiction, poetry, and drama emerging from this generation of Cuban-American writers but even in the cultural work of artists who, like Estefan and Cidre, seem more directly invested in the mythmaking operations of the culture industry of which they are a part. In a recent review for The Nation of an exhibit of visual artwork by Cuban- American women entitled "Arte Cubana," María de los Angeles Torres observes that "Miami today is home to a new wave of exiles: the children of the Cuban revolution, . . . the revolution's own cultural elite, who critique it because it has betrayed its own nationalist and socialist principles." These recent exiles, especially in their coexistence and communication with "the children of the original exiles," who have similarly "rejected the dominant political culture of their community, . . . are bringing down the aquatic wall that has separated the island/nation for thirty-five years" (95). In an equally recent analysis of the current state of the arts in Cuba, Coco Fusco also comments on the exodus in the 1980s of some of Cuba's major artistic figures. Fusco observes in her article for the Los Angeles Times that while these "young Cuban artists raised within the revolution had revised their country's understanding of popular culture and used satire to question the staid political order," that same order's response to its own economic instability in the post-Soviet world was a repressive political and cultural retrenchment that "prompted many of Cuba's best and brightest creators to leave for good" (F1-F27). The confrontation of young Cuban artists raised here and there will ultimately contribute to the opening of the necessary dialogue among the many disparate elements that make up the complex patchwork that Cuban culture has become; and, with Coco Fusco, I suspect that it may be in the sphere of popular culture and its most accessible idioms that this opening initially takes place.

Already in an immensely successful recording like Gloria Estefan Mi Tierra, we hear the optimistic anticipation not only of Cuban-to-Cuban reconciliation and reintegration but of an even larger Pan-Hispanist movement that crosses


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New Immigrant Literatures in the United States: A Sourcebook to Our Multicultural Literary Heritage
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Works Cited xix
  • I - Asian-American Literatures 1
  • 1 - Arab-American Literature 3
  • Conclusion 15
  • Notes 15
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 16
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 17
  • 2 - Armenian-American Literature Khachig Tololyan 19
  • Conclusion 37
  • Notes 39
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 40
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 41
  • 3 - Chinese-American Literature 43
  • Introduction 43
  • Notes 62
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 62
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 63
  • 4 - Filipino American Literature Nerissa Balce-Cortes and Jean Vengua Gier 67
  • Conclusion 84
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 86
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 87
  • 5 - Indian-American Literature 91
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 105
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 107
  • 6 - Iranian-American Literature Nasrin Rahimieh 109
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 122
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 123
  • 7 - Japanese-American Literature Benzi Zhang 125
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 140
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 141
  • 8 - Korean-American Literature 143
  • Conclusion 151
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 152
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 154
  • 9 - Pakistani-American Literature Sunil Sharma 159
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 164
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 167
  • II - Caribbean-American Literatures 169
  • 10 - Anglophone Caribbean-American Literature 171
  • 11 - Cuban-American Literature 187
  • Conclusion 203
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 204
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 205
  • 12 - Dominican-American Literature 207
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 216
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 218
  • 13 - Puerto Rican-American Literature Carrie Tirado Bramen 221
  • Conclusion 234
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 234
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 237
  • III - European-American Literatures 241
  • 14 - Finnish-American Literature 243
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 251
  • 15 - Greek-American Literature 253
  • Conclusion 259
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 259
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 261
  • 16 - Irish-American Literature 265
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 276
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 279
  • 17 - Italian/American Literature 281
  • Conclusion 287
  • Notes 290
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 291
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 292
  • 18 - Jewish-American Literature 295
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 305
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 307
  • 19 - Sephardic Jewish-American Literature 309
  • Introduction 309
  • Conclusion 313
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 314
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 316
  • 20 - Polish-American Literature 319
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 326
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 327
  • 21 - Slovak-American and Czech-American Literature 329
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 337
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 338
  • IV Mexican-American Literatures 339
  • 22 - Mexican-American Literature Ada Savin 341
  • Conclusion 357
  • Notes 359
  • Selected Primary Bibliography 360
  • Selected Secondary Bibliography 362
  • Selected Bibliography 367
  • Index 371
  • About the Contributors 383


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