By Julie Avril Minich
A quantity within the American Literatures Initiative
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Additional info for Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico
The novel thus represents the struggle to understand the family in more inclusive terms, privileging its queer, disabled, and female members as well as its indigenous heritage. The nationalist component to this struggle is made explicit in the novel’s title, which evokes the Mexica deity Tlaloc and links contemporary struggles to define the cultural family with indigenous resistance to the Conquest of Mexico. At the same time, the novel predicates its vision of the Chicana/o nation on the broken, fragile, and mutilated bodies of the family “sinners,” including Miguel Chico and his uncle Felix.
To Yarbro-Bejarano’s description I add able-bodied, for El Plan also privileges those with the capacity for physical labor: “Aztlán belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops” (1). S. culture but fails to address misogyny, heteronormativity, and able-bodied dominance. As a writer who focuses upon queer, disabled, and otherwise marginalized Chicana/o characters, Islas has a vexed relationship to Chicano nationalism. He employs many of its privileged images—land, familia, and pre-Columbian cultural practices— even as he harshly critiques nationalist literature.
Furthermore, Moraga herself has written, somewhat dismissively, that Islas’s “writing begged to boldly announce his gayness” but contains only “vague references about ‘sinners’ and tortured alcoholic characters” (Last Generation 163). However, recent work by gay Chicano literary critics has challenged the commonly accepted narrative that Almaguer and Moraga offer in these critiques, a narrative that presents Chicano gay literature largely in terms of absence, lack, and failure. have failed in their work to inscribe the gay Latino subject” (“Place of Gay Male Chicano” 92–93).
Accessible Citizenships. Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico by Julie Avril Minich