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Palgrave Macmillan

Rewriting American Identity in the Fiction and Memoirs of Isabel Allende

ISBN 9781137339973
Publication Date August 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Moving away from territorially-bound narratives toward a more kinetic conceptualization of identity, this book represents the first analysis of the politics of American identity within the fiction and memoirs of Isabel Allende. Born in Peru to a family of Chilean diplomats and now a US citizen, Isabel Allende has long been involved in the complex networks of power relations and conflicting narratives in the broader context of the Americas. By focusing on how Allende reconciles the apparent contradictions between allegiance to political states and subjective versions of belonging, Bonnie M. Craig offers a radical transformation of societal frameworks through revised notions of place, temporality, and space.

Bonnie M. Craig is an independent researcher and former Fulbright scholar. She has a PhD in American Studies and American Literature from King's College London, UK and an MA in English from Stanford University, USA.

1. Belonging within Isabel Allende's "California Dream"

2. The Politics of National Belonging

3. "The Intangible Space" of Belonging: Paradigms of Affective Engagement within Nation

4. Gendered Discourses of Patriarchal Nationalism: "The Intransigent Father"

6. Feminist, "Feminine," and 'Matriarchal' Nations?

6. Sites of Transformation within the Americas: Historical California and an Inter-American Identity

7. Future Sustainable Landscapes of Belonging: the "Young American" and Eco-Centered Ethical Frameworks

8. Conclusion


'Craig's book is something entirely new: it engages with the fluidity of national affiliation in a globalized world in which territorial borders are rendered less relevant. Craig deploys theoretical tools with elegance and aplomb; one never has the sensation of encountering theory for theory's Sake. On the contrary, her discussions of diverse perspectives on nationalism and national identity, gender and patriarchy, and eco-criticism are used to unlock meaning and offer exciting and genuinely original readings of texts as diverse as My Invented Country, The Sum of Our Days, The Infinite Plan, Paula, Aphrodite, Daughter of Fortune, Portrait in Sepia, and Zorro.' – Susan Castillo, Harriet Beecher Stowe Professor of American Studies, King's College London, UK
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