Bridging the Americas

Stelamaris Coser
A literary study of three important black women writers, this book examines the "inter-American" characteristics in the work of Paule Marshall, Toni Morrison, and Gayl Jones, including detailed discussions of Morrison's Song of Solomon and Tar Baby, Jones's Corregidora and Song of Anninho, and Marshall's The Chosen Place, The Timeless People. Coser defines the inter-American characteristics in these authors' novels as a connection based on a common African heritage and a shared legacy of colonialism and racism. These three authors redefine the boundaries between the Americas, bridging the "extended Caribbean" that stretches from the U.S. Atlantic coast to Brazil. Their work reinterprets ethnic and sexual identity. Issues of race, class, and nationality overlap. History and identity are reinvented. To explore the collective forms of resistance and cultural processes in Brazil, the Caribbean, and the United States, Coser also makes provocative connections between the visibility of black women writers and the popularity of male Latin American novelists like Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel Garcia Marquéz. Author note: Stelamaris Coser, a native Brazilian, is Professor of American Studies and American Literature at the Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil.

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