New Book: Divergent Dictions, Contemporary Dominican Literature

The translation of the well-received Escrituras de desencuentro en la República Dominicana (Siglo XXI Editores, 2005)—Divergent Dictions: Contemporary Dominican Literature—is forthcoming from Caribbean Studies Press this year.

This collection of essays by Néstor E. Rodríguez examines the trajectory of Dominican writing, exploring the founding ideologies and stances in Dominican thought, starting with authors such as Manuel de Jesús Galván, Manuel Núñez, Manuel Arturo Peña Batlle, and Juan Bosch, among others. He presents texts that offer contestation to this “homo-hegemonic” pole from the margins by writers such as Aída Cartagena Portalatín. Mapping various subversive strategies, Rodríguez arrives at the literary production of Dominican-American authors such as Junot Díaz, Julia Álvarez, Josafina Báez, Manuel Rueda, Rita Indiana Hernández, Aurora Arias, and Silvio Torres-Saillant, positing that their work constitutes “a radical aesthetic enterprise challenging the Dominican cultural establishment.” These writers represent Dominicanness as a diverse and heterogeneous cultural identity, complicating the purported homogeneity of the Dominican Republic.

Néstor E. Rodríguez was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He received a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras and a PhD in Latin American literature from Emory University. His essays and articles have appeared in academic journals such as Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Revista Hispánica Moderna, and Revista Iberoamericana, as well as in the literary supplements of La Jornada (México), El Nuevo Día (Puerto Rico), Hoy (Dominican Republic) and Diálogo (Puerto Rico).

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