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Chronotopes of the City: Spatial Injustice and Narrative Form in Helena María Viramontes’s Their Dogs Came with Them
Published December 5, 2021

Combining Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of the chronotope and Sarah Dillon’s notion of the palimpsest, the essay highlights the dialogic relationship between narrative time and space in Chicana author Helena María Viramontes’s novel, Their Dogs Came with Them (2007). Set in East Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s—the heyday of renewal projects and the rapid spread of freeways—the novel registers the geographical displacement and constrained socio-economic mobility of Mexican Americans whose homes are demolished by the freeway building bulldozers. The spatial form of intersectionality characterizing the architectural structure of the freeways also describes the narrative form of the novel. The non-linear narrative is structured upon multiple intersecting plotlines, each of which portrays the social struggles of a young Chicana woman inhabiting the city. Focusing on the interplay of environmental theme and narrative form, the paper explores the narrative representation of East Los Angeles as a spatially and temporally multilayered landscape that palimpsestously overlays and interconnects the personal memory of the characters and the collective history of Mexican Americans’ socio-political oppression in North America. (BR)

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The “Latina Madwoman” at the Crossroads of Harm and Hope
Published February 1, 2021

Book review:

Halperin, Laura. Intersections of Harm: Narratives of Latina Deviance and Defiance. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2015. xii + 238 pages. ISBN 978-0-8135-7036-5. Pbk. $29.95.

Can Female Resistance Emerge from Vulnerability?
Published June 24, 2020

Book review:

Butler, Judith, Zeynep Gambetti, and Leticia Sabsay, eds. Vulnerability in Resistance. Durham: Duke UP, 2016. x + 336. ISBN 978-0-8223-6290-6. Pbk. $26.95.

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