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The nature of ethnic identity has been a major issue in the Mexican American community for decades. Whereas history has offered frameworks for interpreting generational changes in the understanding of identity, literature has been particularly rich in exploring themes of power and domination, Louis Gerard Mendoza argues in this look at historical and imaginative literatures and their role in forming ethnic identity.Focusing on late twentieth-century literature and history by American writers of Mexican descent, Mendoza examines how style, purpose, and context function to facilitate or constrain the understanding of the past. Mendoza accepts as his starting point the model posited by historian Mario Garcia, then contrasts for each "generation" the nuances and contradictions offered by one or more Chicana/o creative writers. Other historians whose works are centrally considered include Juan Gomez-Quinones, Rodolfo Alvarez, Ricardo Romo, David Montejano, and Carlos Munoz, while the literary writers featured include Jovita Gonzalez, Alejandro Morales, Sara Estela Ramirez, Teresa Paloma Acosta, Oscar Zeta Acosta, and Americo Paredes.Mendoza argues that history is the narrative battle-ground upon which literature is based. However, he contends that most Chicana/o historical narratives are integrated into literary analysis to establish background, resulting in the invocation of the histories as representations of the "real".Libraries, borderlands scholars, and those interested in cultural studies will want this book, which seeks ways to integrate the two genres of history and literature through the new critical analysis.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 376 pages
  • 158.5 x 252.5 x 31.2mm | 716.69g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • bibliography, index
  • 1585441503
  • 9781585441501

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