Representations of the Portuguese in American Literature

Volume 7


Characterized as "the silent minority," the Portuguese have had a varied and checkered presence in American literature. Representations of the Portuguese in American Literature materially enhances our understanding of a field that until now only a handful of readers had noticed. Ranging from considerations of nineteenth– and twentieth–century canonical writers such as Hawthorne, Melville, Mark Twain, Jack London, and Edith Wharton, to present-day Portuguese-Americans such as Julian Silva, Frank X. Gaspar, Katherine Vaz, and Charles Reis Felix, Reinaldo Silva applies recent theories of ethnicity and race to examine cultural and historical realities as well as authorial intentions, both conscious and unconscious. In so doing, he provides students of Portuguese-American culture and history valuable guidance toward a more comprehensive understanding of the place the Portuguese have occupied in American literature.

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