Encarnaciones Cubanas

Elías Miguel Muñoz and Queering of the Latina/o Canon

In: Latinidad at the Crossroads
Ylce Irizarry
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This essay discusses two novels written by Cuban American author Elías Miguel Muñoz, who arrived in the United States in May 1969, between the two watershed migrations of Cubans: post-1959 exiles and 1980 Mariel refugees. The author’s multiple migrations—from Cuba to Spain, from Spain to the United States, and within the United States—inform his fiction and reflect the reality of latinidades. Moreover, he tells a different story about life in Cuba offering readers new understandings of cubanidad while he foregrounds important issues concerning sexuality and gender construction among queer Latinas/os. This essay asserts two arguments about the Latinx Canon by, first, stating that Muñoz’s work should be positioned as an early, material “queering” of cubanidad in terms of its complication of the exile narrative and its deconstruction of Cuban heteronormativity and, second, claiming that his work ultimately performs a “queering” of Latinx literature in reversal of tropes of ethnic belonging common in the Latinx Canon.

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