In American ethnic literature of the last three decades of the 20th century, recurrent themes of mobility, travel, and “homing in” are emblematic of the search for identity. In this essay, which discusses three short stories, Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use,” Louise Erdrich’s “The World’s Greatest Fishermen,” and Daniel Chacon’s “The Biggest City in the World,” I attempt to demonstrate that as a consequence of technological development, with travel becoming increasingly accessible to ethnic Americans, their search for identity assumes wider range, transcending national and cultural boundaries.
Anderson, Eric Gary. American Indian Literature and the Southwest. Contexts and Dispositions. Austin: U of Texas P, 1999. Print.
Chacon, Daniel. “The Biggest City in the World.” Chicano Chicanery. Houston: Arte Publico, 2000. 21-35. Print
Clifford, James. Routes. Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1997. Print.
Cummings, Dolan. The Trouble with Being Human These Days. Rev. of Identity by Zygmunt Bauman. Culturewars.org. Culture Wars. Web. 20 Oct. 2011.
Durczak, Joanna. “Sherman Alexie’s ‘Armani Indians’ and the New Range of Native American Fiction.” Polish Journal for American Studies. 2 (2008): 103-20. Print.
Erdrich, Louise. “The World’s Greatest Fishermen.” Love Medicine. New York: Harper-Perennial, 1993. 1-42. Print.
---. Interview by Josephine Reeds. Web. 30 Nov. 2011. Gaines, Ernest. “The Sky is Gray.” Heath Anthology. Ed. Paul Lauter. Vol. 2. Lexington: Heath, 1994, 2594-2614. Print.
Sollors, Werner. The Invention of Ethnicity. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. Print.
Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Ed. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay. New York:Norton, 1997. 2274-80. Print.