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Utopian Dreams, Apocalyptic Nightmares:  Globalization in Recent Mexican and Chicano Narrative

Miguel López-Lozano

Utopian Dreams, Apocalyptic Nightmares traces the history of utopian representations of the Americas, first by the colonizers, who idealized  the New World as an earthly paradise, and later by Latin American modernizing elites, who imagined Western industrialization, politanism, and consumption as a utopian dream for their independent societies. Novelists Carlos Fuentes, Homero Aridjis, Carmen Boullosa, and Alejandro Morales utilize the literary genre of dystopian science fiction to elaborate on how globalization has resulted in the alienation of indigenous peoples and the deterioration of the ecology.
  This book concludes that Mexican and Chicano perspectives on the past and the future of their societies constitute a key site for the analysis of the problems of underdevelopment, social injustice, and ecological decay that plague today’s world. The narratives studied coincide in expressing confidence in the ability of Latin American and US Latino popular sectors to claim a decisive, and interactive, role in the implementation of enhanced measures to guarantee an ecologically sound, ethnically diverse, and just society for the future of the Americas.

"In this engaging and very readable study, Miguel López-Lozano offers an innovative way of linking Mexican and Chicano literature.  Highly recommended for anyone interested in literary responses to the current wave of globalization and its impact on both sides  of the US-Mexican border."—Maarten van Delden, University of Southern California

"… offers a new perspective that brings together potential points of connection between Mexican and Chicano narrative. Most effective in situating the dystopian strategies within Mexican historical and literary contexts, the study provides helpful starting points for broader comparative work." —Paul Fallon, Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies 12 (2007): 289–90.

" This book achieves an interesting dialogue between the literary production of Chicano and Mexican writers in their use of the sci-fi genre, and a well-thought-out debate about what is at stake behind the history and current development of globalization." Manuel Chinchilla, The Americas 66.2 (Oct. 2009): 282-83.

"Thus the volume's central organizing scheme comprises a generic dialectic, which the author not only maintains with singular consistency ... but also revitalizes by grounding the utopian impulse in Mesoamerican historical reality from the colonial times to independence to the new millennium. ... López-Lozano's volume qualifies as a significant and... unique contribution to the critical discourse on (Latin-)American science-fiction and dystopian writing and will appeal to various segments of the scholarly community, from Cultural Studies scholars to ecocritics." Attila Kárai, Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies 1 (2009): 212-15.

"Después de haber leído Utopian Dreams, Apocalyptic Nightmares, de Miguel López Lozano, no cabe duda: éste es un libro original e innovador, que llama la atención no sólo por el tema sugestivo, sino también por otras razones. ... el análisis propiamente dicho de este libro sólo puede provocar palabras de elogio. Está redactado con claridad, profundidad y perspicacia." —An Van Hecke, Iberoamericana 10.38 (2010): 240-43.

This book is listed or reviewed in: The Chronicle Review, January 11, 2008 Book News, May 2008.

Miguel López-Lozano, University of New Mexico, teaches Latin American narrative and Border Studies. In 1998 he received his PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of California at Berkeley with a dissertation on Mexican women indigenist writers. His current research focuses on utopia and apocalypse in the Mexican and Chicano novel in times of globalization. His articles have appeared in Mexico,  the United States, and Germany.

ISBN-13: 978-1-55753-484-2  
2007. Vol. 42. x, 294 pp. Paper $43.95


Display case in Stanley Coulter Hall, week of February 11-18. Photos at lower right courtesy of Floyd Merrell. Graphics © 2008 Jupiterimages, Inc.

Information last updated June 24, 2015

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