Daily Fare: Essays from the Multicultural Experience / Edition 1

Daily Fare: Essays from the Multicultural Experience / Edition 1

by Kathleen Aguero
     
 

ISBN-10: 0820314994

ISBN-13: 9780820314990

Pub. Date: 02/28/1993

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

Daily Fare presents seventeen artfully crafted essays in which writers representing a broad spectrum of the American experience ponder the meaning of living in a nation of diverse and competing cultures. Consistently thought-provoking and often intensely personal, these pieces confront such themes as the question of identity, the individual's relation to

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Overview

Daily Fare presents seventeen artfully crafted essays in which writers representing a broad spectrum of the American experience ponder the meaning of living in a nation of diverse and competing cultures. Consistently thought-provoking and often intensely personal, these pieces confront such themes as the question of identity, the individual's relation to culture, problems of communication, and the need to strike a balance between preserving traditions and merging them.

Memories both tender and painful fill these pages. Toi Derricotte, recalling her experiences as the only black person at an artist colony, often found her sense of isolation almost unbearable: "No one can help. Only I, myself. But how can I let go? My face is a mask, like Uncle Tom's, my heart twisted in rage and fear." In "The Death of Fred Astaire," Leslie Lawrence reflects on the difficult decisions that led to her becoming a lesbian mother and the mix of emotions—apprehension, maternal longing, and, finally, joyous fulfillment—that accompanied her choices. In "Kubota," Garrett Hongo describes how his grandfather enjoined him to learn and to give witness to the injustices committed against Japanese Americans by their own government during World War II; Hongo accepts this responsibility as "a ritual payment the young owe their elders who have survived."

Several bilingual essayists contemplate their relationship to the English language—a language that can empower its users or deny them access to the dominant culture. For Judith Ortiz Cofer, reading books from the public library as a child gave her a sense of freedom as well as her first intimations of the writing career she would later pursue. Alberto Alvaro Rios, however, reminds us that learning English in the first grade also meant being punished for using Spanish: "Spanish was bad. Okay. We, then, must be bad kids."

Still other essays explore what it means to confront the confusions of a plural family heritage or to be a black artist from a Catholic background when so much of black culture is tied to the Protestant tradition. "Despite the current interest in multiculturalism," Kathleen Aguero observes, "the notion of culture in the United States today is too often synonymous with predominantly white, male, heterosexual, upper-class, Eurocentric interests." In bringing together writers from beyond this tradition, Daily Fare provides a valuable perspective on our current moment in history. As Jack Agueros, summing up both the dilemma and the pleasure of our society's diversity, writes, "It's hard and wasteful to be purely ethnic in America—definitely wasteful to be totally assimilated."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820314990
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
02/28/1993
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.74(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Books in the Closet, in the Attic, Boxes, Secrets1
Becoming and Breaking: Poet and Poem20
The Paterson Public Library28
At an Artists Colony34
Black Catholics: Cultural Exiles, Literary Exiles47
War Doll Hotel65
Kubota78
Jiddo: A Portrait98
Brother: A Memoir112
Pennsylvania Power & Light123
The Death of Fred Astaire138
from 1935157
Of Rice and Bread174
Black Hair186
Atlantic City - 1955197
Walking Between the Worlds205
Beyond the Crust216
Contributors229

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