Conversations with Mexican American Writers: Languages and by Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak

By Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak

Via a chain of interviews with 9 acclaimed authors, Conversations with Mexican American Writers explores the languages and literature of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as a confluence of social, cultural, old, and political forces. of their conversations, those authors talk about their linguistic offerings in the context of language rules and language attitudes within the usa, in addition to the East Coast publishing industry's mandates.The interviews exhibit the cultural and geographical marginalization continued by way of Mexican American writers, whose voices are muted simply because they produce literature from the remotest components of the rustic and approximately humans at the social fringes. Out of those interviews emerges a portrait of the borderlands as a dynamic area of foreign trade, one who is positioned and will basically be understood absolutely inside of a world context.

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EMJ: You mentioned earlier that your initial associations with English were bad ones and that Ursuline nuns hung you by your braids and made you pronounce your name in English. You said that you thought that something inside of you would die when you spoke English. Could you tell us the story? MF: These were not the nuns that tied me by my braids; those were the Holy Name Sisters when I was ten years old and was in boarding school in Los Angeles. My parents resorted to a full-time boarding school so I would have to speak English, and that was where a nun tied me by my braids to the chains of a swing.

It’s all been boiled down. If I have to think of a - 12 - “Stuff that you pull out of your kischkas ” piece of mine, anything that I’ve written in fiction or nonfiction, I think that suicide note is the most tightly structured piece of writing. There isn’t one cognate in there that linguistically does not contain the body of it. Some of us are cast, and he says, “cast so solidly that the slightest breach would snap,” and then I realized that Victor was cast that way, and that was probably the reason that I needed him so much in my life, because I’m a very unbridled person.

My mother is about ten years younger than my dad. When she fell in love with him she was about seven and he was seventeen, or she was ten and he was nineteen or something like that. ” And I thought, here we go, it’s going to be one of those lunches or dinners. These were both children of political and military celebrities. They’d traveled as young children under - 13 - Montserrat Fontes pseudonyms because they were afraid of being kidnapped. They were child celebrities. As many children of famous people, they had no lives of their own—they’d always be talking about that.

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