Writing Galicia explores a part of Europe’s cultural and social landscape that has until now remained largely unmapped: the exciting body of creative work emerging since the 1970s from contact between the small Atlantic country of Galicia, in the far north-west of the Iberian peninsula, and the Anglophone world. Unlike the millions who participated in the mass migrations to Latin America during the 19th century, those who left Galicia for Northern Europe in their hundreds of thousands during the 1960s and 1970s have remained mostly invisible both in Galicia and in their host countries. This study traces the innovative mappings of Galician cultural history found in literary works by and about Galicians in the Anglophone world, paying particular attention to the community of ‘London Galicians’ and their descendants, in works by artists (Isaac Díaz Pardo), novelists (Carlos Durán, Manuel Rivas, Xesús Fraga, Xelís de Toro, Almudena Solana) and poets (Ramiro Fonte, Xavier Queipo, Erin Moure). The central argument of Writing Galicia is that the imperative to rethink Galician discourse on emigration cannot be separated from the equally urgent project to re-examine the foundations of Galician cultural nationalism, and that both projects are key to Galicia‘s ability to participate effectively in a 21st-century world. Its key theoretical contribution is to model a relational approach to Galician cultural history, which allows us to reframe this small Atlantic culture, so often dismissed as peripheral or minor, as an active participant in a network of relation that connects the local, national and global.
This book represents a very significant and exciting contribution to the steadily growing field of Galician cultural studies. The author skilfully examines the ways that the experiences of migration have defined and redefined Galician identity in relation to other cultures and languages, and how Galicia has been written beyond the nation. The project thus aims for a radical redefinition of Galician writing.
Hooper’s approach to the Galician diaspora in the English-speaking world demonstrates that dynamism, changeability and multiplicity are an integral part of Galician culture. As such, Writing Galicia into the World will undoubtedly intrigue scholars seeking to understand the age-old problem of emigration from new perspectives.
Galicia 21, Journal of Contemporary Galician Studies, Issue D