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Abstract

In her article "Metropolitan (Im)migrants in the 'Lettered City'" Stacey Balkan employs Ángel Rama's discussion of audience as a means of analyzing a Latin American diaspora that exists beyond the "rational periphery" of the state. Herein, the term diaspora is redefined as a translocal phenomenon wherein the metropolitan (im)migrant moves from rural margin to urban center. Normative definitions of exile — persons displaced from autonomous nation-states — are likewise scrutinized in the context of what the Rama terms a post-contemporary "city of letters." This post-contemporary city is the subject of what Mabel Moraña refers to as a "subaltern boom" — that is, the McOndo generation. Balkan discusses the work of Roberto Bolaño, Daniel Alarcón, and Junot Díaz employ such narrative signatures as invisibility to reify the ephemeral (or "lettered") city while also amplifying the predicament of the now urban Indian living within its borders.