Cover image for Border confluences : borderland narratives from the Mexican War to the present
Border confluences : borderland narratives from the Mexican War to the present
King, Rosemary A., 1966-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Tucson : University of Arizona Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvii, 170 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Claiming space: domestic places, national divides. Ramona: a story / Helen Hunt Jackson -- The squatter and the Don / María Amparo Ruiz de Burton -- Caballero: a historical novel / Jovita González. Moving in space: southern journeys of transformation. Stones for Ibarra / Harriet Doerr -- Old gringo / Carlos Fuentes -- All the pretty horses / Cormac McCarthy. Making space: northern migrations in the Hispanic bildungsroman. Pocho / José Antonio Villarreal -- Barrio boy / Ernesto Galarza -- George Washington Gómez: a Mexicotexan novel / Américo Paredes -- The rain God / Arturo Islas. Reclaiming space: dystopias and utopias in the Borderlands. Pilgrims in Aztlán / Miguel Méndez -- Almanac of the dead / Leslie Marmon Silko.
Electronic Access:
Table of contents
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Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
PS277 .K56 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Writers focusing on the U.S.-Mexico border are keen observers of cultural interaction, and their work offers a key to understanding the region and its most important issues. For more than 150 years, novelists from both the United States and Mexico have spun stories about the borderlands in which characters react to cultural differences in the region, and this has become a dominant theme in border fiction. Authors such as Helen Hunt Jackson, Carlos Fuentes, Cormac McCarthy, and Leslie Marmon Silko have not only created important literature; in so doing, they have also helped define the border. Writers who are drawn to the borderlands owe the narrative power of their work to compelling relationships between literary constructions of space and artistic expressions of cultural encounter. Rosemary King now offers a new way of understanding the conflicts these writers portray by analyzing their representations of geography and genre. Border Confluences examines how the theme of cultural difference influences the ways that writers construct narrative space and the ways their characters negotiate those spaces, from domestic sphere to national territory, public school to utopia. King shows how fictional characters' various responses to cultural encounters--adapting, resisting, challenging, sympathizing--depend on the artistic rendering of spaces and places around them, and she examines the connection between writers' evocation of place and the presence of cultural interaction along the border as expressed in novels written since the mid-nineteenth century. Drawing on historical romances, Hispanic coming-of-age novels, travel narratives, and utopian literature, King offers plot summaries of such key works as Ramona, All the Pretty Horses, and Almanac of the Dead as she analyzes representations of both the spaces in which characters function and the places they inhabit relative to the border. Border Confluences is a provocative study that offers insight into the ways words and space combine and recombine over time to create representations of the borderlands as a site where places and cultures continue to generate powerful narrative. Through it, scholars and students in such disciplines as ethnic studies, sociology, and women's studies will find that novels centered on the border are not merely works of literature but also keys to understanding the region and its most important issues.

Author Notes

Rosemary A. King is an officer in the United States Air Force and has taught English at the Air Force Academy. She is currently stationed at the Pentagon

Table of Contents

Helen Hunt JacksonMaria Amparo Ruiz de BurtonJovita GonzalezHarriet DoerrCarlos FuentesCormac McCarthyJose Antonio VillarrealErnesto GalarzaAmerico ParedesArturo IslasMiguel MendezLeslie Marmon Silko
List of Figuresp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Borderland Narratives as Geopoetic Expressionsp. xi
1 Claiming Space: Domestic Places, National Dividesp. 3
Ramona: A Storyp. 5
The Squatter and the Donp. 17
Caballero: A Historical Novelp. 22
2 Moving in Space: Southern Journeys of Transformationp. 31
Stones for Ibarrap. 33
Old Gringop. 42
All the Pretty Horsesp. 50
3 Making Space: Northern Migrations in the Hispanic Bildungsromanp. 61
Pochop. 64
Barrio Boyp. 74
George Washington Gomez: A Mexicotexan Novelp. 81
The Rain Godp. 90
4 Reclaiming Space: Dystopias and Utopias in the Borderlandsp. 97
Pilgrims in Aztlanp. 100
Almanac of the Deadp. 112
5 Conclusion: Geopoetic Representations beyond Narrativep. 125
Notesp. 137
Referencesp. 153
Indexp. 163