Memory, Narrative, And Identity: New Essays in Ethnic American Literatures

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9781555532673: Memory, Narrative, And Identity: New Essays in Ethnic American Literatures

The fourteen insightful essays in this timely volume focus on the different ways in which ethnic American writers use memory as a device to redefine history and culture, to validate both a personal and a collective identity, and to shape narrative. The contributors articulate how the works of diverse American writers of African, Mexican, Irish, Chinese, South Asian, Jewish, and Native American descent chart memory's forays into language, narrative, and identity. The cultural and political realities of race and ethnicity in American life - as refracted through memory and imagination - give a special meaning to the identity crisis of hyphenated Americans. In examining the complicated issues of cultural memory, the contributors pay attention to historical conditions, hegemonic discourses, and differences of gender, class, and region. Some of the essays consider a single writer, while others adopt a comparative approach. Some are multi-disciplinary, drawing on insights from anthropology or semiotics, while others provide close textual analysis. Rather than providing systematic coverage of major ethnic writers of all ethnic literatures, Memory, Narrative, and Identity: New Essays in Ethnic American Literatures demonstrates the broad range of suggestive and provocative approaches that may be employed in studying the traces of memory in language and narrative. In their introduction, the editors have provided a valuable backward glance at how issues of race and ethnicity have come to be acknowledged as central to current literary debates. This group of critical essays not only approaches issues of memory, narrative, and cultural politics in defining the complex realities of American ethnicityand cultural identity, but also focuses on the roles of time and orality in validating both historical and narrative experience. This collection also addresses the ways in which immigrant or racial memory filters through the expanding net of language and consciousness, at the same

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Published by Northeastern 1996-01-04 (1996)
ISBN 10: 1555532675 ISBN 13: 9781555532673
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Amritjit Singh (Editor), Joseph T. Skerrett Jr. (Editor), Robert E. Hogan (Editor)
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