Catalogue

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Julia Alvarez : writing a new place on the map /
Kelli Lyon Johnson.
imprint
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2005.
description
xix, 180 p.
ISBN
0826336515 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2005.
isbn
0826336515 (alk. paper)
contents note
Mapping a new country -- The paradox of remembered space -- Asymptosy, gender, and exile -- English as a homeland: language, creativity, and improvisation -- Silence on the island: recovering collective memory -- Crossing borders and writing Mestizaje: negotiating genre and gender -- Magical thinking: syncretism, spirituality, and stories -- Improvising new maps.
catalogue key
5621442
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-05-01:
Johnson (Miami Univ., Ohio) proposes that Alvarez's work as a whole can be seen as a project of subversive mapping, in which Alvarez constructs through narrative and verse an alternative geography of home and identity. She suggests that Alvarez's map of self and space incorporates a more culturally female cartography in its porous borders, fluid geography, and conscious embracing of a mestiza identity. In formulating her own theory, Johnson chooses elements from several critical approaches; hers is an amalgamation of Edward Said's postcolonialism, Gloria Anzaldua's notions of borderlands, and various feminist views of geography and cartography. Although the resulting framework does not always seem to be completely consistent with the originating theories, it does facilitate an interesting reading of Alvarez's works. Some sections, e.g., the commentary on historical map making and the discussion of asymptotic narrative, are fresh and original. Probably the book's most valuable contribution is its analysis of Alvarez's entire oeuvre--fiction, poetry, young adult and children's literature, and essays--as a coherent project. Also helpful is Johnson's placement of Alvarez within several well-theorized literary traditions, including those of Chicana and Cuban exile writers, Latin American feminist narrative, and Caribbean cultural production. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. S. E. Cooper California State University--Chico
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2006
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Kelli Lyon Johnson examines the writings of Julia Alvarez, illuminating the themes, ideals and passions that unite her body of work, much of which explores issues of understanding and representation of identity within a global society.
Long Description
A closer look at the work of one of today's most widely read Latina authors.
Long Description
This book provides the first book-length examination of the writings of Julia Alvarez, the author of "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" and nearly a dozen other books of fiction and non-fiction and one of todays most widely read Latina writers. Kelli Lyon Johnson perceptively illuminates the themes, ideals, and passions that unite these diverse and rich works, all of which explore issues of understanding and representing identity within a global society.Forced by political oppression to leave the Dominican Republic when still young, Alvarez has lived most of her adult life in the United States. Johnson argues that through her narratives, poetry, and essays, Alvarez has sought to create a cartography of identity in exile. Alvarez inscribes a geography of identity in her work that joins theory and narrative across multiple genres to create a new map of identity and culture.By asserting that she is mapping a country thats not on the map, Alvarez places creativity and multiplicity at the center of this emerging cartography of identity. Rather than elaborating a hybrid identity that surreptitiously erases distinctions and difference, Alvarez embraces the "mestizaje" or mixture and accumulation of identities, experience, and diversity. To Alvarez, linguistic and cultural multiplicity represents the reality of what it means to be American, and she offers a compelling vision of both self and community in which the homeland Alvarez seeks is the narrative space of her own writings. As Johnson shows, Alvarez will continue to shape American literature by stretching the literary cartography of identity and of the Americas.
Main Description
This book provides the first book-length examination of the writings of Julia Alvarez, the author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accentsand nearly a dozen other books of fiction and non-fiction and one of today's most widely read Latina writers. Kelli Lyon Johnson perceptively illuminates the themes, ideals, and passions that unite these diverse and rich works, all of which explore issues of understanding and representing identity within a global society. Forced by political oppression to leave the Dominican Republic when still young, Alvarez has lived most of her adult life in the United States. Johnson argues that through her narratives, poetry, and essays, Alvarez has sought to create "a cartography of identity in exile." Alvarez inscribes a geography of identity in her work that joins theory and narrative across multiple genres to create a new map of identity and culture. By asserting that she is "mapping a country that's not on the map," Alvarez places creativity and multiplicity at the center of this emerging cartography of identity. Rather than elaborating a "hybrid" identity that surreptitiously erases distinctions and difference, Alvarez embraces the mestizajeor mixture and accumulation of identities, experience, and diversity. To Alvarez, linguistic and cultural multiplicity represents the reality of what it means to be American, and she offers a compelling vision of both self and community in which the homeland Alvarez seeks is the narrative space of her own writings. As Johnson shows, Alvarez will continue to shape American literature by stretching the literary cartography of identity and of the Americas.
Main Description
This book provides the first book-length examination of the writings of Julia Alvarez, the author of nearly a dozen books of fiction and non-fiction and one of today's most widely read Latina writers. Kelli Lyon Johnson perceptively illuminates the themes, ideals, and passions that unite these diverse and rich works, all of which explore issues of understanding and representing identity within a global society. Forced by political oppression to leave the Dominican Republic when still young, Alvarez has lived most of her adult life in the United States. Johnson argues that through her narratives, poetry, and essays, Alvarez has sought to create 'a cartography of identity in exile'. Alvarez inscribes a geography of identity in her work that joins theory and narrative across multiple genres to create a new map of identity and culture. By asserting that she is 'mapping a country that's not on the map', Alvarez places creativity and multiplicity at the centre of this emerging cartography of identity. Rather than elaborating a 'hybrid' identity that surreptitiously erases distinctions and difference, Alvarez embraces the 'mestizaje' or mixture and accumulation of identities, experience, and diversity. To Alvarez, linguistic and cultural multiplicity represents the reality of what it means to be American, and she offers a compelling vision of both self and community in which the homeland Alvarez seeks is the narrative space of her own writings. As Johnson shows, Alvarez will continue to shape American literature by stretching the literary cartography of identity and of the Americas.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. VI
Introduction: Mapping a New Countryp. VII
The Paradox of Remembered Spacep. 1
Asymptosy, Gender, and Exilep. 28
English as a Homeland: Language, Creativity, and Improvisationp. 54
Silence on the Island: Recovering Collective Memoryp. 76
Crossing Borders and Writing Mestizaje: Negotiating Genre and Genderp. 107
Magical Thinking: Syncretism, Spirituality, and Storiesp. 133
Conclusion: Improvising New Mapsp. 157
Notesp. 163
Works Citedp. 168
Indexp. 177
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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