Identity, Diaspora and Return in American Literature
This volume combines literary analysis and theoretical approaches to mobility, diasporic identities and the construction of space to explore the different ways in which the notion of return shapes contemporary ethnic writing such as fiction, ethnography, memoir, and film. Through a wide variety of ethnic experiences ranging from the Transatlantic, Asian American, Latino/a and Caribbean alongside their corresponding forms of displacement - political exile, war trauma, and economic migration - the essays in this collection connect the intimate experience of the returning subject to multiple locations, historical experiences, inter-subjective relations, and cultural interactions. They challenge the idea of the narrative of return as a journey back to the untouched roots and home that the ethnic subject left behind. Their diacritical approach combines, on the one hand, a sensitivity to the context and structural elements of modern diaspora; and on the other, an analysis of the individual psychological processes inherent to the experience of displacement and return such as nostalgia, memory and belonging. In the narratives of return analyzed in this volume, space and identity are never static or easily definable; rather, they are in-process and subject to change as they are always entangled in the historical and inter-subjective relations ensuing from displacement and mobility. This book will interest students and scholars who wish to further explore the role of American literature within current debates on globalization, migration, and ethnicity.