Writing Between Cultures

A Study of Hybrid Narratives in Ethnic Literature of the United States


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About the Book

Hybrid narrative forms are used frequently by authors exploring or living in multicultural societies as a method of reflecting multicultural lives. This timely book examines this rhetorical strategy, which permits an author to bridge cultures via literary technique. Strategies covered include multilingualism, magical realism, ironic humor, the use of mythological figures from the characters’ heritage cultures, and the presentation of different perspectives on landscapes and other spaces as related to ethnicity. By investigating elements of ethnic literature comparatively, this book reaches beyond the boundaries of any one ethnic group, a vital quality in today’s world.

About the Author(s)

Holly E. Martin is a professor emeritus from the English Department at Appalachian State University, where she specialized in ethnic U.S. literature. She has authored a book and numerous articles on ethnic and multilingual literature that have appeared in such journals such as Comparative American Studies, The Journal of American Culture, and Asian American Literature.

Bibliographic Details

Holly E. Martin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6660-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8849-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Introduction: Ethnicity, Ethnic Literature and Hybrid Narratives 1

One • Magical Realism: Blurring the Boundaries Between the Magical and the Ordinary 21

Two • Surveying the Land: Hybridity in Landscapes and Sites of U.S. Ethnic Literature 45

Three • Mythical and Legendary Figures: Forming Fictional Multicultural Identities 80

Four • Comedy and Tragedy: The Ironic Double Spaces of Ethnic Humor 114

Five • Multilingual Expression: Hybrid Perspectives Through Language 146

Conclusion: Hybrid Perspectives and the Demarginalization of Ethnic Literature in the United States 184

Works Cited 195

Index 203