Beyond the Latina Boom: New Directions within the Field of US Latina Literature
AbstractThis article aims to identify a lesser-known generation of female writers that has given a new direction to US Latina literature in the twenty-first century. Beyond the significance of the Latina boom that marked the 1980s and 1990s, the latest generation differs from their predecessors in important ways, amounting to a paradigm shift in US Latina literature that needs to be thoroughly explored. To carry out this task, I have selected three canonical Latina boom novels: Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street (1984), Julia Álvarez’s How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991) and Cristina García’s Dreaming in Cuban (1992). These texts will be contrasted with Angie Cruz’s Soledad (2001), Achy Obejas’s Days of Awe (2001) and Felicia Luna Lemus’s Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties (2004). My contention is that while the US Latina literary boom might have sought synthesis or the creation of a third space, associated with Gloria Anzaldúa’s consciousness of the borderlands, these twenty-first century female writers offer representations of nonnormative sexualities that take indeterminacy and ambiguity to a limit that defies all resolution.Keywords: US Latina literature; Latina boom; borderlands; new generation; nonnormative sexualities
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