Character analysis of The Rain God, by Arturo Islas

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At one level, as long as a writer's origin and language is of matter to us, Arturo Islas belongs to that niche genre of Mexican-American literature. The genre was called Chicano but is increasingly not a preferred name for many academic scholars. But that is a debate, which we do not have the luxury to enter in this paper.


Though he grew up in the deserts of Mexico, Islas was first trained at and then taught at Stanford University. The deserts of his native place and then the lifelong career as an engaged academic in the cutting edge of American academia gave Islas an expansive imagination. An imagination, which he had put into great use while chronicling the trials and tribulations of the Angel family in The Rain God. The imaginative landscape of Latin American literature infused his writing, while he was never too far away from the critical realism of American letters. The two converged to give Islas a very unique perspective of both life and literature.
As Antonio Marquez writes, "Inspired by Neruda's bardic magnificence, Islas gives expressive voice to the dead, and retrieves the ghosts of a family and extended families from the oblivion of unrecorded history. ...
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