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Heroes, victims or villains? Irish Presentations and Representations in Latin America and the Caribbean

Morelia, Mexico, 15-18 July 2009

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Kate McCafferty and Anne Enright: Irish heroines-villains-victims in the Latin western hemisphere

Izarra, Laura (University of São Paulo)

Irish migrant narratives written by women represent themes of displacement and renewal in Latin America. The gendered cultural discourse of migration reveals many masks that women adopt, either to conform to the narrow social limits laid upon them or to  configure a subjective  emancipating  space  throughout the process of transculturation in the non-English speaking lands of the West. This paper seeks to address two contemporary novels  in a contrapuntal way: Kate McCafferty’s Testimony of an Irish Slave Girl (2002) and Anne Enright’s The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch (2003). The two fictional Irish heroines played the endless heroine-villain-victim-heroine roles in the Caribbean and South America, either in the seventeenth-century or nineteenth-century historical context. The Irish slave girl’s testimony unveils a multiethnic perception of the other within a transcultural and political process of emancipation while the narrative on Eliza Lynch is analysed at the confluence of various other narratives that resignify her life story from different ideological perspectives.


The Society for Irish Latin American Studies

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