Nicole Roberts

The UWI, St. Augustine

 

Socialisation, Psychological Trauma and a Dimension of Consciousness: Reading Survival in the Novel Cualquier Miércoles Soy Tuya by Mayra Santos Febres


In the Hispanic Caribbean, studies in popular culture, alterity and resistance to dominant culture became increasingly popular from the 1980s onwards. Moreover, the potentiality of the body also assumed an importance. My interest in this paper lies specifically with the representation of identity in the Hispanic Caribbean and on the ways in which contemporary Hispanic Caribbean narrative is a site in which constructions of alterity highlight the re-imaginations of identity. For the Afro Puerto Rican writer Mayra Santos Febres, the urban centre of San Juan presents the reader with characters who experience multifaceted problems and through whom we learn poignant details about ourselves and the dehumanised Caribbean that we are creating today.


In this paper, I make a close critical reading of Santos Febres’ novel Cualquier miércoles soy tuya [Any Wednesday I’m yours]. Set in contemporary Puerto Rico, the novel is a sort of fiction noir which recounts the transient life of the urban underworld in San Juan and in which two murders take place. My analysis uses the concept of Intersectionality to analyse the oppressive institutions which mark the lives of urban inhabitants in the novel. Specifically the paper examines the character of “M” or “la Dama solitaria” and describes the ways in which she must navigate race, gender, age and class, all dimensions of her social life. Through these social charateristics, to show the way in which Santos Febres describes the oppression in the country as systematic and “M” as particularly unstable though defiant in her identity.