The American Borderlands Novel
Chapter from The Cambridge History of the American Novel, Eds. Leonard Cassuto, Clare Virginia Eby, and Benjamin Reiss.
>>Read Chapter PDF<<
Novels written from and about the borderlands go against the grain of the normative binary of American race relations. While “race” in the American social and cultural context has traditionally referred to the social and legal patterns of hierarchy and domination characterizing the relations between groups of blacks and whites, the borderlands novel posts a different racial narrative. In this chapter, Saldivar shows–among other things–how the multiracial realities characteristic of the borderlands create social structures and discourses articulating a dialogical narrative of American social life based on multiplicity, heterogeneity, and difference.