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Latinx Literature UnboundUndoing Ethnic Expectation$
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Ralph E. Rodriguez

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279234

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279234.001.0001

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Brown Like Me? The Author-Function, Proper Names, and the Rise of Fictional Nobodies

Brown Like Me? The Author-Function, Proper Names, and the Rise of Fictional Nobodies

Chapter:
(p.21) Chapter 1 Brown Like Me? The Author-Function, Proper Names, and the Rise of Fictional Nobodies
Source:
Latinx Literature Unbound
Author(s):

Ralph E. Rodriguez

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823279234.003.0002

This chapter demonstrates the ways in which the two principal criteria for defining Latinx literature—identity and theme—are insufficient in making sense of this body of writing. It looks at three representative cases to demonstrate conclusively that we need a better way to understand the literature we have heretofore labelled Latinx. It examines a white writer (Daniel James) who, under a Latinx name (Danny Santiago), penned in the 1980s a popular Chicano novel of the barrio. It shows how the author of the novel The Madonnas of Echo Park, Brando Skyhorse, further confounds our understanding of identity matters and Latinx literature. He was raised as Native American and only as a teenager discovered he had a Mexican biological father. He has since written a memoir, Take This Man, about his upbringing, race, and ancestry. Finally, the chapter turns to a readily recognizable Latino author, Eduardo Halfon. However, this particular author writes on themes that critics would not readily identify as Latinx.

Keywords:   author, identity, Latinx, race, theme

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