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Dominicanidad / Dominicanity

Perspectivas de un concepto (trans-)nacional / Perspectives on a (trans-)national concept


Edited By Christine Felbeck and Andre Klump

Con unos 20 artículos de investigadores/-as de Europa, de los Estados Unidos y de la República Dominicana, la presente obra interdisciplinaria e internacional ofrece un panorama actual de la investigación sobre la dominicanidad como concepto (trans-)nacional en sus contextos mundiales, insulares y nacionales. Los estudios son fruto en gran parte de un congreso organizado por el America Romana Centrum (ARC) de la Universidad de Trier en el año 2014.

With about 20 articles from researchers from Europe, the United States and the Dominican Republic, this interdisciplinary and international volume offers a current panorama of the research on dominicanity as a (trans-)national concept in global, insular and national contexts. The studies are largely a result of a congress organized by the America Romana Centrum (ARC) of the University of Trier in 2014.

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Narcotraficantes, Pandilleros and Urban Violence – Coming-of-Age in Contemporary Dominican Novels by Luis R. Santos and Pedro A. Valdez (Julia Borst)


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Julia Borst (Bremen)

Narcotraficantes, Pandilleros and Urban Violence – Coming-of-Age in Contemporary Dominican Novels by Luis R. Santos and Pedro A. Valdez

1.  Introduction

The aim of this paper is to analyze how the coming-of-age process is represented in contemporary Dominican novels. While there are numerous studies on this issue in U.S.-Dominican literature, where the topic is quite popular,1 and especially on those authors of international renown such as Junot Díaz or Julia Álvarez,2 Dominican coming-of-age novels from the island have been rather neglected so far (see Lorenzo Feliciano 2011, iii).3 This is particularly true for the two texts I focus on in this essay, as both have barely been noticed by academia: Palomos (2009)4 by Pedro A. Valdez and Princesa de Capotillo (2010)5 by Luis R. Santos.

Whereas the knowledge of many potential readers from Western countries is limited to a vision of the Dominican Republic as a tourist paradise with big hotel resorts and spectacular beaches, Santos’s and Valdez’s novels go beyond this biased view of the country. These authors offer differentiated insights into other dimensions of postcolonial reality in the Dominican Republic by addressing urgent social problems that are widely unknown to the general public outside of the Caribbean. Both novels invoke a society suffering from proliferating gang violence and rampant drug trafficking and whose urban poor live in miserable conditions. In the two texts analyzed in this study, the...

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