Latino Dreams

Transcultural Traffic and the U.S. National Imaginary


A welcome addition to the fields of Latino and (trans-)American cultural and literary studies, Latino Dreams focuses on a selection of Latino narratives, published between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, that may be said to traffic in the U.S.A.’s attendant myths and governing cultural logics. The selection includes novels by authors who have received little academic attention—Abraham Rodriguez, Achy Obejas, and Benjamin Alire Sáenz—along with underattended texts from more renowned writers—Rosario Ferré, Coco Fusco, and Guillermo Gómez-Peña. Latino Dreams takes a transcultural approach in order to raise questions of subaltern subordination and domination, and the resistant capacities of cultural production. The analysis explores how the selected narratives deploy specific narrative tactics, and a range of literary and other cultural capital, in order to question and reform the U.S.A.’s imaginary coordinates. In these texts, moreover, national imperatives are complicated by recourse to feminist, queer, panethnic, postcolonial, or transnational agendas. Yet the analysis also recognizes instances in which the counter-narrative will is frustrated: the narratives may provide signs of the U.S.A.’s hegemonic resilience in the face of imaginary disavowal.

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"…excellent monograph […] this is an important critical contribution to Latino studies." - in: Chascevi, Revista de literatura latinoamericana, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Nov. 2004)
"…meticulous yet imaginative." - in: American Literature, Vol. 76, No. 4 (Dec. 2004)
Chapter 1. The transcultural contours of Latino U.S.A.
Chapter 2. Rosario Ferré’s trans-“American” fantasy, or subalternizing the self
Chapter 3. Abraham Rodriguez’s boy-zone romance of “American” escape
Chapter 4. Cuban memory, “American” mobility, and Achy Obejas’s lesbian way
Chapter 5. Coming out of the “American” nightmare with Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Chapter 6. Coco Fusco, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and “American” cannibal reveries
7. Afterword: Notes on transcultural traffic from across el charco pacífico
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