Aspects of Social Justice Ally Work in Chilean Historical Fiction: The Case of the Pacification of Araucanía

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Majority-culture writers often depict cultures different from their own, but approaching cultures to which an author does not belong can be challenging. How might we read dominant-culture portrayals of marginalized cultures that tell stories of injustice? In this paper I utilize the frame of identity development in social justice allies in order to understand the narratives dominant-culture authors use in fiction to reflect sympathetic views of indigenous justice claims. In order to do so, I study three historical novels set in Araucanía during the second half of the nineteenth century, considering historiographical orientation, representation of cultural difference, and understanding of sovereignty: Casas en el agua (1997) by Guido Eytel, Vientos de silencio (1999) by J.J. Faundes, and El lento silbido de los sables (2010) by Patricio Manns. I will show that fiction, even in validating indigenous justice claims, does not overcome past narratives of dominance.