Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Leila Gómez

Second Advisor

Nuria Silleras-Fernández

Third Advisor

Christopher Braider


Rosario Ferre’s successful polyphonic novella Maldito amor depicts the nebulous concept of a collective Puerto Rican identity. Yet, Ferré’s own English translation of Maldito amor (Sweet Diamond Dust) subverts many of the issues associated with the search for Puerto Rican identity. In Maldito amor, Ferré addresses issues of race, political affiliations, and the role of women in Puerto Rico insightfully as they remain unresolved. Sweet Diamond Dust also explores these themes, but they are undercut by the didactic descriptions, diluted racial discourse, and pro-American sentiments. Ferré’s stated objective in translating the novella was to provide an English version for a hybrid Puerto Rican-American audience, but she tarnished the translation by over domesticizing the content for the target audience. By examining the differences created and the similarities maintained by the act of translation, one can arrive at a better understanding of the assimilation still required in translating identity.