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Abstract

In her article, "Negotiating Boundaries in Divakaruni's The Mistress of Spices and Naylor's Mama Day," Susana Vega-González analyzes the intertextual connections between these two novels. In Vega-González's view, the texts discussed transcend their authors' different ethnic and ethno-cultural backgrounds and appeal to universalisms found in literature. Vega-González proposes that writing from a bi-cultural perspective, Indian American Chitra B. Divakaruni and African American Gloria Naylor share both content and stylistic features in their acclaimed novels. Their conscious effort to dissolve established boundaries as well as their ethno-cultural legacies leads these authors to a magic realistic approach, an apt means to reflect their own conception of the world and of the act of narration. In Divakaruni's and Naylor's fiction, the interaction between the mythical, the supernatural, and the everyday reality and the interplay between past and present point to the advocacy of a hybridity that negotiates and transcends boundaries. According to Vega-González, reading these two novels we can conclude that, although coming from different ethno-cultural contexts within the common setting of the United States, Naylor and Divakaruni adhere to magical realism as an apt means to synthesize divergent conceptions of the world and to advocate eclectic positions.

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