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Literature Professor Studies Sino-Peruvian Writing in New Book

October 8, 2014

"Dragons in the Land of the Condor: Writing Tusán in Peru," a new book authored by literature Professor Ignacio López-Calvo, presents a case study of a Peruvian minority and migrant group that negotiates cultural difference through its literary and cultural production.

In the book, published by the University of Arizona Press, López-Calvo argues that Sino-Peruvian writing re-positions contemporary Peruvian culture as transnational and provides the Chinese Peruvian community with a voice and a collective agency.

Building on his 2013 book "The Affinity of the Eye: Writing Nikkei in Peru," López-Calvo argues that the articulation of Asian identitarian discourses brings to the “discourse of mestizaje” and the traditional notion of a Peruvian bicultural nation an additional heterogeneity, disrupting the criollo-indigenous binary logic.

He explores the influence, or lack thereof, of a Chinese ethnic background in the writing of Pedro Zulen, the founder of Chinese Peruvian writing, and several contemporary Sino-Peruvian authors. 

López-Calvo said their literary texts have become tools of individual and collective representation, political empowerment and selfhood, whose objective is to produce a diasporic minority identity.

Another publisher, Salem Press, has released a new book on magical realism in world literature edited by López-Calvo. The articles in “Critical Insights: Magical Realism" review past and current criticism of magical realist works around the world, analyze seminal as well as lesser known magical realist literature and film, and update the theoretical discourse addressing this literary and cultural mode.