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Impossible Returns

Narratives of the Cuban Diaspora

Impossible Returns by Iraida H. López
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Since travel restrictions from the United States to Cuba began to ease, thousands of Cuban exiles and Cuban Americans have been able to reunite with family and visit their homeland. Yet the subject of return in the Cuban diaspora remains understudied.

In this one-of-a-kind volume, Iraida López explores various narratives of return by the one-and-a-half generation—those who left Cuba as children or adolescents—and the ways in which the desire for homecoming is manifested both abroad and inside Cuba. Including memoirs, semi-autobiographical fiction, and visual arts, many of these works feature a physical arrival in Cuba while others depict a metaphorical or vicarious experience through fictional characters or childhood reminiscences. Impossible Returns ends by looking at how Cubans still living on the island depict returning émigrés in their own narratives, which have evolved from exclusionary to accommodating.

Through a critical reading of works by artists and writers like María Brito, Carlos Eire, Cristina García, Ana Mendieta, Gustavo Pérez Firmat, and Achy Obejas, López highlights the affective ties as well as the tensions underlying the relationship between émigrés and their native country.

University Press of Florida; August 2015
313 pages; ISBN 9780813055459
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Title: Impossible Returns
Author: Iraida H. López