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Becoming native?: The wisdom of plants in Magaret Engle’s the surrender tree
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.
2016 (English)In: International Research in Children's Literature (IRCL), ISSN 1755-6198, E-ISSN 1755-6201, Vol. 9, no 1, 35-49 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper situates Margaret Engels’ collection of poems that form a novel, The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom (2008), in both the historical context it depicts (The various wars against Spain 1850-1899) and the emerging field of human-plant studies (HPS). Noting that Cuba’s indigenous population was destroyed by genocide and imported illnesses, the paper suggests that the island itself, as portrayed in Engels’ poetry, has colluded in human politics and played an active role in determining who can lay claim to Cuban nativity. Human-plant studies provide a rationale for suggesting that, in Engels’ The Surrender Tree, the flora of the island determines the progress of the Wars of Independence. This argument is extended to crystals, which also ‘grow’ but which are not deemed to be ‘living’, to suggest that, in The Surrender Tree, it is not the people who choose their nation and fight for its independence or to maintain Cuba’s connection to an empire of nations, but rather that the island itself chooses its people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 9, no 1, 35-49 p.
Research subject
English, Specialization in Didactics
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-11782DOI: 10.3366/ircl.2016.0181Local ID: acc70fd0-132d-4e6a-b335-e149fe7bb8edOAI: diva2:984732
Validerad; 2016; Nivå 2; 20160304 (lydkok)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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