In "Mayan Drifter", Juan Felipe Herrera journeys to the Maya Lowlands of Chiapas on a quest for his Indio heritage and a vision of the multicultured identity emerging in America. He attempts to shed the trappings and privileges of his life in California in order to reduce his distance from the dispersed and shrinking Mayan population. In Mexico, Herrera seeks a deeper understanding of his homeland's history, its exploitation, and looks to realize his own place in relation to the struggle of his people. Like the Mayan drifter, the text crosses and extends boundaries. In a variety of narrative voices, poems, and a play, across time, Herrera recounts how the Maya have been invaded by the Spanish, the government, the multinational corporations of the petrochemical industry, and anthropologists.The Maya survive and resist as their numbers dwindle and the forces that mount against them become more powerful. Inspired by the Maya's resilience, Herrera envisions the disappearance of borders and evokes a fluid American self that needs no fixed identity or location. Juan Felipe Herrera is Associate Professor of Chicano and Latin American Studies at California State University, Fresno. He has taught creative writing from third grade to university level and is the author of numerous poetry collections including "Akrilica", "Facegames", "Night Train to Tuxlta", a collection of poems and stories, and a children's book entitled "Calling the Doves".
Temple University Press,U.S.
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