Paletitas De Guayaba=On A Train Called Absenceby Erlinda Gonzales-Berry (Translator), Kay (Kayla) S. Garca (Translator)
On a Train Called Absence/Paletitas de Guayaba was first published in Spanish by El Norte Publications (Albuquerque, 1991). The story is narrated in the first person by the protagonist, Marina, who is traveling by train from New Mexico to Mexico City in search of her identity, her history, and answers to many questions that are tormenting her. As the train carries her through the Mexican landscape, she has flashbacks of her life in New Mexico, a failed romance, and a previous journey. The narration also flashes forward to her arrival, and to her discoveries and adventures in Mexico, where she confronts both her historical and mythical past as well as her complex, multicultural present. The themes of hybrid identity, the Chicano movement, Mexican history, U.S.-Mexican relations, and female sexuality are explored, in a highly experimental and self-reflecting narratorial style that is lyrical, profound, and sometimes profane.
Although there are many books describing the reality of life for Chicanos living in the United States, only a few books address the problem of identity with an actual journey back to the "madre patria" (Mexico). This experience allows the protagonist to deal directly with contemporary issues of identity and transculturation, and to reach a more transcendent understanding of her own history as a bilingual-bicultural manita/chicana/pocha and that of her fellow Chicanos and Mexicans.
Paletitas de guayaba delivers the powerful lesson of how multiple identities and subject positions can be constructed from the other side of various international, inter-ethnic, and sexual borders. By combining this lesson with humor and a wonderfully executed language, the novel instructs at the same time that it entertains, and in this way seals its connection to the best of the Chicano oral tradition.
Dictionary of Literary Biography 2009
La novela de Gonzales-Berry, como otras muchas novelas femeninas contemporáneas, se rebela contra las limitaciones tradicionales del bildungsroman femenino que, según el conocido análisis de Annis Pratt, se había caracterizado de buena medida por su utilidad para "domesticar" a las mujeres lectoras. Marina, por el contrario, aprende a deshacerse de esos mecanismos culturales reductores y a establecerse a sí misma como persona madura y compleja.
Manuel M. Martin-Rodríguez
Latin American Literary Review (Jan-June 1995)
- Floricanto Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.48(d)
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