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Defending Their Own in the ColdThe Cultural Turns of U.S. Puerto Ricans$
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Marc Zimmerman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036460

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036460.001.0001

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U.S. Puerto Rican Literature

U.S. Puerto Rican Literature

To the memory of Pedro Pietri (RIP)

(p.50) Chapter 3 U.S. Puerto Rican Literature
Defending Their Own in the Cold

Marc Zimmerman

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses U.S. Puerto Rican literature, which can be divided into three phases, preceded by a kind of “pre-phase.” The pre-phase, extending from the last century, consists of exiles from the independence struggle against Spain. These include major intellectuals who mainly wrote about their Caribbean struggles and reflected critically on the New York experience of arriving Puerto Rican nationals. The first phase, extending from 1917 to 1945, is mainly of autobiographical and journalistic works expressing the efforts of first-generation migrants to adjust to U.S. life. The period of migration from 1945 to 1965 constitutes the second phase, when radical exile writers mainly wrote a literature of exile with hardly any bilingualisms and only limited reference to the migration experience. Lastly, the third phase “effectively draws together the firsthand testimonial of the ‘pioneer’ stage and the fictional, imaginative approach of the writers of the 1950s or 1960s.”

Keywords:   U.S. Puerto Rican literature, migration, Puerto Rican migrants, radical writers, exile writers, fictional approach

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