Julia de Burgos and Caribbean Latino Diaspora Writers
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.
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