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Across Borders: Migrancy, Bilingualism, and the Reconfiguration of Postcolonialism in Junot Díaz’s Fiction

Author

  • Laura Fennell

Summary, in Swedish

Equipped with Junot Díaz’s novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) and his collections of short stories Drown (1996) and This Is How You Lose Her (2012), this thesis interprets the fundamentals of migrant literature, studies Díaz’s tools of migrant depiction, and examines contemporary postcolonial and migrant discourse. This is performed in three integral segments of study. First, the unstable terminology surrounding migration and hybrid self-fashioning is discussed with identity theory from theorists such as Homi K. Bhabha and Elleke Boehmer. This experience of hybrid identity is related to Yunior de las Casas, the primary narrator of all three texts. Later, accompanied by language theory from Doris Sommer and Lourdes Torres, bilingualism is revealed as the authoritative device to depict migrant lifestyles. This code-switching is exemplified by Yunior’s seamless transitions between English and Spanish. Finally, the narrator’s historical footnotes are discussed as a reconfiguration of postcolonial discourse that explores the link between postcolonial, diasporic, and migrant literature while arguing that the overlap between these does not make the genres interchangeable. The ambition is to explain the criteria for migrant literature and to use Díaz’s texts to explain the interpretations, tools, and effects of migrant literature.

Department/s

Publishing year

2015

Language

English

Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)

Topic

  • Languages and Literatures

Keywords

  • migrancy
  • migration
  • bilingualism
  • postcolonialism
  • Junot Díaz
  • other

Supervisor

  • Paul Tenngart (PhD)