New Book: Roberto Márquez Looks at Literature and Identity in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is made up of Spanish-, French-, and English-speaking island states. Literary criticism tends to maintain the separation between these cultures, says Roberto Márquez, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Mount Holyoke College. In his new book, A World among These Islands: Essays on Literature, Race, and National Identity in Antillean America, Márquez looks at the Caribbean as a whole to better understand the region’s literary heritage and history. In this collection, written over the last two decades, Márquez seeks to answer a question he has often raised in class: Can you speak about a unified Caribbean that exists beyond the borders between its individual islands?

Translator, editor, essayist, and literary critic Márquez has been teaching at Mount Holyoke College since 1989. He has been recognized for the caliber of his many translations from the work of a wide variety of Latin American poets and writers, and for his work in the field of Caribbean literary and cultural history. A Puerto Rican born and raised in Spanish Harlem, Márquez has traveled, lived, studied, and worked in various parts of Spain, South America, and the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, Cuba, Brazil, and Nicaragua.

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