30 / 2009
Janja Žitnik Serafin

A writer between two homelands: Louis Adamic and the questions of national, ethnic and cultural identities

Louis Adamic (1898–1951) was the most successful Slovenian émigré writer. Virtually all his books deal with social and cultural issues of his two homelands, Slovenia and the U. S. This fact alone testifies to his pronounced bi-national socio-cultural involvement. Although he wrote in English, the balance between the Slovenian and the American component part of his cultural identity was never shaken. Adamic’s insight into the immigration topics of his new homeland was fairly complex as he was able to observe them as an insider and as an outsider. For this reason his concepts and views on various aspects of national, ethnic and cultural identities as well as on intercultural relations (especially those within a multiethnic nation) have been recently rediscovered and found as credible and topical as they were when he published them.
KEY WORDS: Slovenian émigré literature, Louis Adamic, immigrants to the United States, cultural pluralism, writer’s socio-cultural role