Mainland Passage: The Cultural Anomaly of Puerto Rico

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


One-third of the population of Puerto Rico moved to New York City during the mid-twentieth century. Since this massive migration, Puerto Rican literature and culture have grappled with an essential change in self-perception. Mainland Passage examines the history of that transformation, the political struggle over its representation, and the ways it has been imagined in Puerto Rico and in the work of Latina/o fiction writers.

Ramón E. Soto-Crespo argues that the most significant consequence of this migration is the creation of a cultural and political borderland state. He intervenes in the Puerto Rico status debate to show that the two most discussed options—Puerto Rico’s becoming either a fully federated state of the United States or an independent nation—represent false alternatives, and he forcefully reasons that Puerto Rico should be recognized as an anomalous political entity that does not conform to categories of political belonging.

Investigating a fundamental shift in the way Puerto Rican writers, politicians, and scholars have imagined their cultural identity, Mainland Passage demonstrates that Puerto Rico’s commonwealth status exemplifies a counterhegemonic logic and introduces a vital new approach to understanding Puerto Rican culture and history.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationMinneapolis
PublisherUniversity of Minnesota Press
Number of pages200
ISBN (Electronic)9780816668144
ISBN (Print)9780816655878, 9780816655885
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Civilization
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Puerto Rico
  • Literature
  • Emigration and immigration in literature
  • National characteristics, Puerto Rican, in literature
  • Puerto Rican literature
  • Politics and literature
  • Literature and history


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