Language and Race in Junot Diaz's Literature

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Kanagawa University. Center for Studies in Langues
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The recent trend of Dominican migration to the United States echoes previous patterns of Hispanic migration but with some characteristic aspects concerning race. As 75 % of this Dominican migrant population is mulatto, their classification as black people in the U.S. has affected the way they see themselves compared to people still living in the Dominican Republic; this classification has also determined the living conditions that they are offered in a racially dualized world such as the US. Junot Diaz, Dominican-American author, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his first long novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. His literature vividly depicts the life of this community, both in the U.S. and in the Dominican Republic, and his use of a musical and meaningful Spanglish is an implicit denouncement of the racism suffered but also paradoxically practiced by Dominicans. This paper will illuminate these aspects of race and identity in Junot Diaz’s literary work.
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