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TriangulationsNarrative Strategies for Navigating Latino Identity$
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David J. Vázquez

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816673261

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816673261.001.0001

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I Can’t Be Me without My People

I Can’t Be Me without My People

Triangulating Historical Trauma in the Work of Julia Alvarez

(p.135) 4 I Can’t Be Me without My People

David J. Vázquez

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter presents a reading of Julia Alvarez’s first four novels—How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991), In the Time of the Butterflies (1994), ¡Yo! (1977b), and In the Name of Salomé (2000)—to understand how she creates a composite narrative of Dominican Republic history. She complicates the history, personal memory, and fiction in her literary construction of a Dominican Republic that is based on a transformative history of the self. By recounting the collective trauma inflicted by Rafael Leonidas Trujillo’s brutal thirty-one-year dictatorship, Alvarez triangulates a national subject that attempts to resolve the contradictions of diasporic identity.

Keywords:   Julia Alvarez, Dominican Republic, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, diasporic identity, historical trauma, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, ¡Yo, In the Name of Salomé

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