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Voices Out of Africa in Twentieth-Century Spanish Caribbean Literature

Julia Cuervo Hewitt

Jacket illustrations: The paintings featured on the cover are by Gonzalo Cuervo (d. 1997), the author's father.

2009
402 pages
$75.00
ISBN 1611483246
Bucknell Studies in Latin American Literature and Theory

Voices Out of Africa in Twentieth-Century Spanish Caribbean Literature is a compelling exploration of how authors of the Spanish Caribbean (Cuba, Santo Domingo, and Puerto Rico) have incorporated the cultural legacy of Africa into their narrative fictions. This richly articulated study decodes and explores hidden layers of African-derived myths and symbolisms found in many of the major Spanish Caribbean works of prose fiction. Julia Hewitt ranges from the Afro-Cuban short stories of Lydia Cabrera and the historical novels of Alejo Carpentier, to the representation of the figure of the runaway slave--a foundational archetype of the Spanish Caribbean since the sixteenth century--to the contemporary salsa music-inspired narratives of the Puerto Ricans Edgardo Rodríguize Juliá, Luis Rafael Sánchez, and Ana Lydia Vega, and the provocative narratives of the contemporary Cuban writer, Zoé Valdés. Voices Out of Africa is an erudite, yet accessible and exhilarating, account of the multiple layers of the region's cultural expressions. In its scope, it does justice to the wealth and complexity of Caribbean culture; at the same time, it is a work of scholarship and theory that offers a near-encyclopedic perspective on Spanish Caribbean culture. Voices Out of Africa is the sort of book to which scholars and interested laypersons can return again and again to rummage through its pages in search of insights into Afro-Caribbean symbolism, myths, and cultural practices.

About the author:

Julia Cuervo Hewitt is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the Pennsylvania State University, where she specializes in Latin American Early and Contemporary Literature, with an emphasis in Afro-Spanish-Caribbean Literature and Culture. She has published numerous articles on contemporary Spanish American literature, Caribbean, and Brazilian literature, as well as on the writings of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Dr. Cuervo Hewitt is the author of Aché. Tradiciones Yoruba-Lucumí en la narrative cubana, and she is working on two other books, Elogio de la locura. Mario Vargas Llosa, lector de Euclides da Cunha, and Becoming Iyaré Yemayá.

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