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Becoming Julia de BurgosThe Making of a Puerto Rican Icon$
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Vanessa Pérez Rosario

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038969

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038969.001.0001

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Multiple Legacies

Multiple Legacies

Julia de Burgos and Caribbean Latino Diaspora Writers

(p.94) 4 Multiple Legacies
Becoming Julia de Burgos

Vanessa Pérez Rosario

University of Illinois Press

This chapter studies the work of Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cuban writers in the diaspora who inherited and extended Burgos's legacy in the contemporary public imaginary. Her legacy among queer, feminist, and diaspora writers highlights the challenge to the Puerto Rican literary canon, the cult of patriarchy, and the foundational myth of la gran familia in Puerto Rican literature, which began to decline in the 1970s. For groups traditionally omitted from the national imaginary, claiming Burgos offered a way to tap into the island's nationalistic impulses, shared history, and social memory. Moreover, in a cosmopolitan city such as New York, Burgos became a transnational Latina/o cultural icon. Reinventing, reimagining, and riffing off Burgos becomes a way for artists to voice their struggles for recognition and self-determination in New York, echoing the themes developed in her writing.

Keywords:   Puerto Rican literature, contemporary public imaginary, patriarchy, feminist writers, queer writers, diaspora writers

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