Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Transmigrant Narratives: Identity Conflict in the Works of Marie Arana, Lyn Di Lorio, and Cristina García
by Spencer, Lucianna Muniz, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 125; 22588040
Abstract (Summary)

Transmigration has been an increasing reality in the twenty first century. This increasing flux across borders offers many advantages to transmigrants who gain access to diverse cultural contexts, languages and socio-economic realities. However, inhabiting between borders also presents the possibility of identity conflicts to transmigrants. My research aspires to shed light on the topic of Latin American transmigration to the United States by analyzing identity conflicts in three literary narratives that focus on the transmigrant experience. The first literary account that I will examine is Marie Arana’s memoir American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood (2001). American Chica is the recollection of Arana’s upbringing with a Peruvian father and a white American mother in Peru and later in the United States. Arana’s story is illustrative of the specific struggles experienced by her in the racially segregated America of the 1950s. Although this time period was not one of constant motions across borders if compared to our present reality, Arana, with her bicultural upbringing and her move from Peru to the U.S. when she was ten years old, can be considered a transmigrant. Arana’s memoir also depicts the conflict experienced by transmigrants as they attempt to adapt to the United States while preserving their ethnic heritage. The second narrative is Lyn Di Iorio’s short story “Her Name is Guanábana,” which was first published online in 2014 and portrays the struggle encountered by Guanábana in the U.S. to assimilate while maintaining her native Puerto Rican roots. Guanábana’s tale also highlights the numerous injustices faced by Puerto Ricans on the island and in the U.S., such as the indigenous genocide that nearly annihilated all of the Taínos (Puerto Rican Indigenous people), the discrimination faced by Puerto Ricans in the U.S., and the environmental devastation of the island by greedy developers. The third literary text is Cristina García’s novel Dreaming in Cuban (1992), which depicts the role that the exile experience played in the lives of the fictional Del Pino family of Cuba. In this last account, the conflict over transnational identity has different connotations for the various members of the family who are geographically and emotionally divided as a result of their exilic condition and unresolved emotional issues.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Scenters-Zapico, John
Commitee: Lopez, Dennis, Shaw, Christopher
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: English
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/4(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Latin American literature, American literature, Language arts
Keywords: American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood, Dreaming in Cuban, “Her Name is Guanábana”, identity Conflict, Latin America literature, Transmigrants
Publication Number: 22588040
ISBN: 9781687915023
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