Producing Home in Achy Obejas’ Days of Awe (2001). Homing and Remembering as Diasporic Practices

Anne Brüske, University of Regensburg / University of Heidelberg, Germany

Cuban diasporization and the geographies of Cuban homes in- and outside Cuba are at the core of the novel Days of Awe (2001) by U.S. Cuban writer Achy Obejas. The novel discusses the tensions experienced from a Cuban diaspora perspective between the “desire for a [remembered and imagined] homeland” and a “homing desire” (Brah 1996), between the global currents of de- and reterritorialization, and the protagonist’s attempts to appropriate different spaces as home. The aim of my article is to explore how “home” is performed as a spatiotemporal phenomenon in Obejas’ novel, on which scales “home” is produced (global, national, local) and how the tension between remembered homes and the current locale of living is elaborated. Proposing to define home as a social space, a negotiation between homing practices, concepts of home, and lived experiences on different geographic and temporal scales, I particularly focus on the practices of homing and remembering in the urban spaces of Havana and Chicago and in the micro space of the family home/house as both a social and material space.

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