Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

History and Stories of "Mestizaje" in the Spanish Caribbean: Rosario Ferré’s "Maldito Amor"/Sweet Diamond Dust

Gema Ortega


This article offers a critical overview of the discourse of mestizaje and its relationship to national and individual identities in the Spanish Caribbean, particularly in Puerto Rico. Through a close analysis of Rosario Ferré’s novel Sweet Diamond Dust, I examine the discursive mechanisms that the rhetoric of empire and later the movements of independence and nationalism employed to affirm mestizaje in order to unify cultural identity and gloss over differences in race, gender, and class. I argue that Sweet Diamond Dust revises the notion of mestizaje, challenging its totalizing rhetoric with a multiplicity of stories that emphasize diverse social, gender, and racial perspectives. Polyphony and heteroglossia in the novel demystify mestizaje as the cultural symbol of national unison and underscore the conflicts and discontinuities of the Hispanic Caribbean as the basis of its historical and cultural reality.


Maldito Amor; Sweet Diamond Dust; Mestizaje; Spanish Caribbean

Full Text:


Published by the University of Florida Press on behalf of the Association of Global South Studies.