Cover image for New strangers in paradise : the immigrant experience and contemporary American fiction
New strangers in paradise : the immigrant experience and contemporary American fiction
Muller, Gilbert H., 1941-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 270 pages ; 24 cm
Promised land, postwar fiction and the immigrant experience -- Haunted by the Holocaust, displaced persons and the American dream -- Migrant souls, the Chicano quest for national identity -- Metropolitan dreams, Latino voyagers from the Caribbean -- Middle passage, the African-Caribbean diaspora -- Gold mountains, the Asian-American odyssey -- Searching for America.
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PS374.I48 M85 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This text offers an account of the ways in which contemporary American fiction has been shaped by the successive waves of immigrants to reach U.S. shores in the past 50 years. It focuses on Holocaust survivors, Chicanos, Latinos, African Caribbeans and Asian Americans.

Author Notes

Gilbert H. Muller, professor of English and special assistant to the president at the LaGuardia campus of the City University of New York, is the author of numerous articles, textbooks, and critical studies.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Muller (English, LaGuardia Coll., CUNY) has written an exciting book about the literature of contemporary immigrants to the United States. Muller discusses the historic and sociological forces that have shaped the country's new demographics, including changes in the immigration laws in 1965 that were especially importantÄand little noticed at the time. Displaced persons from Europe as well as the Mexican, Caribbean, and Asian diasporas are all described. Some of the many authors discussed are Isaac Bashevis Singer, Oscar Hijuelos, Jamaica Kincaid, Amy Tan, and Bharati Mukherjee. Muller explains the historic hardships and tragedies of the various communities while showing that the literature is surprisingly optimistic. She is especially good at discussing the Spanish and English Caribbean and Asian authors. Recommended for literature and subaltern studies collections.ÄGene Shaw, New York P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Muller's excellent study of the relationship between the immigrant experience and fiction complements Marcus Klein's Foreigners (CH, Feb'82), which deals with authors of the older European immigration in the period 1900-1940. Muller (La Guardia Community College, CUNY) picks up where Klein left off and writes of the post-WW II era. He focuses on central works of important ethnic writers, among them Isaac B. Singer, Paule Marshall, Jamaica Kincaid, Bharati Mukherjee, Maxine Hong Kingston, Oscar Hijuelos; when applicable, he highlights "canonical" work such as Russell Banks's Continental Drift (1985). Widely read, Muller effectively sets the texts of these writers against a background of Jewish American writing of the post-Holocaust years and Hispanic, Caribbean, and Asian American history and literature of the last five decades, placing writers in the historical contexts of their places of origin and in their social-political relationship with the US. Much recent criticism investigates the literature of this "fourth wave" of immigration, but Muller's book is arguably the best general introduction to the subject. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty and for general readers. T. P. Riggio; University of Connecticut

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1 Promised Land: Postwar Fiction and the Immigrant Experiencep. 1
2 Haunted by the Holocaust: Displaced Persons and the American Dreamp. 27
3 Migrant Souls: The Chicano Quest for National Identityp. 59
4 Metropolitan Dreams: Latino Voyagers from the Caribbeanp. 93
5 Middle Passage: The African-Caribbean Diasporap. 139
6 Gold Mountains: The Asian-American Odysseyp. 171
7 Searching for Americap. 217
Bibliographyp. 239
Indexp. 257