Through a series of interviews with nine acclaimed authors, Conversations with Mexican American Writers explores the languages and literature of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as a confluence of social, cultural, historical, and political forces. In their conversations, these authors discuss their linguistic choices within the context of language policies and language attitudes in the United States, as well as the East Coast publishing industry's mandates.
The interviews reveal the cultural and geographical marginalization endured by Mexican American writers, whose voices are muted because they produce literature from the remotest parts of the country and about people on the social fringes. Out of these interviews emerges a portrait of the borderlands as a dynamic space of international exchange, one that is situated and can only be understood fully within a global context.
Conversations with writers grappling with the tensions of globalization, immigration, and assimilation; features interviews with Norma Elia Cantu, Denise Chavez, Sandra Cisneros, Montserrat Fontes, Dagoberto Gilb, Diana Montejano, Pat Mora, Benjamin Alire Saenz, and Helena Maria Viramontes
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Title: Conversations with Mexican American Writers: Languages and Literatures in the Borderlands
Author: Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Date Published: May 2009
Table of Contents:
Stories that must be told: An introduction
"The stuff that you pull out of your Kischkas": Conversation with Montserrat Fontes 3
Braiding Languages, Weaving Cultures: Conversation with Diana Montejano 21
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world": Conversation with Pat Mora 35
Between Belonging and Exile: Conversation with Benjamin Alire Saenz 46
"Muy payasa": Conversation with Sandra Cisneros 62
"You carry the border with you": Conversation with Helena Maria Viramontes 79
"My grandmother makes the best tortillas" and other stereotypes: Conversation with Dagoberto Gilb 95
Testimonio, Reconnection, and Forgiveness: Conversation with Norma Elia Cantu 115
"!Ay, el Ingles tan Bonito!": Conversation with Denise Chavez 138
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