Novel

Authored by: David J. Vázquez

The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415666060
eBook ISBN: 9780203097199
Adobe ISBN: 9781136221613

10.4324/9780203097199.ch28

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Abstract

Central to Latino/a studies scholarship is the idea that there is no singular Latino/a experience. In fact, Chicanos/as, Cuban-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Central Americans, and others with roots in Latin America often share more in common with Anglos than with other Latino/a groups. These complicated aspects of panethnic identity are compounded when we consider literary history and traditions. Because Latino/a novels do not encompass a single literary trajectory, a comparative perspective offers a more productive approach. A comparative approach reveals how many Latino/a novels evidence resistant relationships with mainstream US culture. In what follows, I outline basic definitions of the novel genre and consider how Latinos/as employ the form to articulate oppositional politics. I then analyze a series of Latino/a novels according to three rough periods to provide a literary history of Latino/a novelistic production since the late 1950s and early 1960s.

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