New Book on the Trans-Caribbean Literary Identity

17 02 2012

The newest book released here from House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) is Haiti and Trans-Caribbean Literary Identity / Haití y la transcaribeñidad literaria by Emilio Jorge Rodríguez.

The English and Spanish title is “a remarkable collection of essays,” said Maximilien Laroche, noted Haitian author from Canada’s Université Laval.

The Dominican author and Syracuse University professor Silvio Torres-Saillant said that, “This work of Cuban colleague Emilio Jorge Rodríguez should be listed among the few books that can be said to truly advance the understanding of the subject they address.”

Topics covered are the Haitian novel in the 20th century and the search for Amerindian and African origins in the masterful work of Alejo Carpentier.

The subject of “Creole transgressions” between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is critically explored, and is sure to raise some eyebrows or even tempers but definitely imparting new intelligences, said Lasana M. Sekou, HNP projects director.

Then there’s an utterly rare and captivating discussion placing Cuba’s grand poet Nicolás Guillén on a visit to Haiti and at the “elite” center of the country’s debate on race and culture.

“The essential subject areas of Haiti and Trans-Caribbean Literary Identity are uniquely interpreted. I would dare say that this book is a missing link for most in our fuller knowledge and experiences of Caribbean literature and culture, of how we think and why we live as we do in this region,” said Sekou.

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New Book on Migration and Displacement in Dominican Literature

17 02 2012

Danny Méndez’s Narratives of Migration and Displacement in Dominican Literature was published this month (February 2012) by Routledge.

Establishing an interdisciplinary connection between Migration Studies, Post-Colonial Studies and Affect Theory, Méndez analyzes the symbolic interplay between emotions, cognitions, and displacement in the narratives written by and about Dominican and Dominican-Americans in the United States and Puerto Rico. He argues that given the historic place of creolization as a marker of national, cultural, and social development in the Caribbean and particularly the Dominican Republic, this cultural process is not magically annulled in Caribbean immigrations to the U.S. Instead, this book illustrates the numerous ways in which Dominicans’ subjective interpretation of their experiences of migration and incorporation into U.S. society, seen through the filter of multiple creolizations of the past, are woven into their written works as a series of variations on Americanness and Dominicanness.

Through close readings of selected writings by Pedro Henríquez Ureña, José Luis González, Junot Díaz, Josefina Báez, Loida Maritza Pérez among others, Méndez argues that emotional creolizations operate as a psychological parameter on immigrant populations as they negotiate their transcultural status against the ideological norms of assimilation in their new host country. Consequently, he proposes that this emotional creolization is dialectical — that is, it not only affects diasporic populations, but also changes the norms and terms of assimilation as well.

Continue reading @ Repeating Islands