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Extreme DomesticityA View from the Margins$
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Susan Fraiman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166348

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166348.001.0001

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Undocumented Homes

Undocumented Homes

Histories of Dislocation in Immigrant Fiction

(p.118) 5 Undocumented Homes
Extreme Domesticity

Susan Fraiman

Columbia University Press

Takes up three novels written by women who share the immigrant backgrounds of their characters: The House on Mango Street (1984) by Sandra Cisneros; Lucy (1990) by Jamaica Kincaid; and Blu’s Hanging (1997) by Lois-Ann Yamanaka. Suggests they point to the hybridity of all households—their influence by multiple cultural traditions, vocabularies, and technologies. Offers them, further, as striking examples of heterogeneity within a single household—differences and inequalities between males and females, adults and children, employers and employees. Brings out their backstories of conquest, slavery, and internment as examples of domestic dislocation not only in space but also over time; not only of individuals but also of groups; removal from one’s home or homeland not only by choice but also by force.

Keywords:   Sandra Cisneros, Jamaica Kincaid, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, immigrant fiction, “house of my own”, Chicana culture

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