The White Trash Menace and Hemispheric Fiction uncovers a rich archive of “white trash” fiction in the Caribbean and its surrounding regions. After the abolition of slavery, affluent white planters underwent a period of identity crisis where the wealthy no longer maintained their privileges, and yet they did not belong to the group of newly freed peoples. Ramón E. Soto-Crespo analyzes the literary legacy of those who came under the label of “white trash.” This book argues that during the mid-twentieth century, “white trash” started off as a trope in pulp fiction and subsequently became absorbed into what we now think of as canonical literature. In The White Trash Menace, Soto-Crespo pairs novels from William Faulkner and Jean Rhys with pulp authors such as Edgar Mittelholzer and Kyle Onstott in order to provide an alternate account of the literary development of race and class in the Americas. Together these works constitute a circum-Atlantic, white-trash world of letters: a hemispheric network of decapitalized whiteness that challenges how we imagine literary history by departing from nation-based models of aesthetic development. By providing a genealogy of literary circulation, The White Trash Menace likewise challenges conventional understandings of “white trash,” and more broadly challenges our understanding of literature, class, and race in the Americas.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherThe Ohio State University Press
Number of pages214
ISBN (Electronic)9780814277614
ISBN (Print)9780814214213, 9780814255681
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Literary Criticism
  • Gothic & Romance
  • Caribbean & Latin American, Literary Criticism
  • African American, Literary Criticism
  • General, Literary Criticism


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