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Following several calls in recent scholarship for increased attention to the study of the Central American diaspora in the United States, this article offers readings of Honduran-born author Roberto Quesada’s novels Big Banana (1999) and Nunca entres por Miami (2003). Written in New York City, where he has resided since 1989, Big Banana highlights issues of Central American identity, migration, and immigrant experiences. Published four years later, Nunca entres por Miami continues to engage with these important topics. My readings of Quesada’s novels focus on the ways in which they construct cultural memory and identity by providing critical historical context that is absent from most mass media coverage of Central American migration to the United States. By engaging with theoretical constructions of Latinidad, this article also analyzes the ways in which Quesada’s characters represent the multi-layered and intersectional nature of US Central American identities. Ultimately, I posit that these novels make a move towards establishing the identity politics that critics such as Arturo Arias assert will be necessary for US Central Americans to emerge as a unique, recognizable, and influential entity in the multicultural landscape of the United States in the twenty-first century.

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Copyright © 2022, Johns Hopkins University Press. This article first appeared in Hispania, 105:1 (2022), 39-52. Reprinted with permission by Johns Hopkins University Press.