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Fractal Families in New Millennium Narrative by Afro-Puerto Rican Women

A study of the family in contemporary Puerto Rican fiction.
Colonial narratives described Puerto Rico as a familial plantation governed by white men and served by Black women, but Puerto Rican women writing today are changing the story. This book surveys diasporic fiction written by Afro-Puerto Rican women whose historical storytelling reimagines the island’s collective family around particular active women—survivors, creators, and activists. John T. Maddox IV argues that these stories—by such writers as Mayra Santos-Febres, Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, Arroyo Pizarro, and Yvonne Denis-Rosario—reveal imaginations committed to both the liberative and traumatic experiences of a new “fractal family.” Through close readings and interviews with the authors discussed, this book opens the door to a more fruitful conversation between the diaspora, homeland, and memory.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Fractal Families

Chapter One: Becoming Family: Mayra Santos Febres’s Fe en disfraz and La amante de Gardel

Chapter Two: Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro: Cimarronas, Love and Breaking the Silence

Chapter Three: Yvonne Denis-Rosario: Fathers, Mothers, Fractals and Writing

Chapter Four: Oshun and the Palenque-Plantation in Daughters of the Stone

Conclusion: Afro-Borinquén Today and Tomorrow

Appendix: Author Interviews


Glossary of Terms

Works Cited

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