Ilan Stavans has been a lightning rod for cultural discussion and criticism his entire career. In A Critic's Journey, he takes on his own Jewish and Hispanic upbringing with an autobiographical focus and his typical flair with words, exploring the relationship between the two cultures from his own and also from others' experiences.
Stavans has been hailed as a voice for Latino culture thanks to his Hispanic upbringing, but as a Jew and a Caucasian, he's also an outsider to that culture---something that's sharpened his perspective (and some of his critics' swords). In this book of essays, he looks at the creative process from that point of view, exploring everything from the translation of Don Quixote to the Hispanic anti-Semitism and the Holocaust in Latin America.
Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture and Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor at Amherst College. A native of Mexico, he received his doctorate in Latin American Literature from Columbia University. Stavans's books include The Hispanic Condition, On Borrowed Words, Spanglish, Dictionary Days, The Disappearance, Love & Language (with Veró nica Albin), Resurrecting Hebrew, and Mr. Spic Goes to Washington, and he has edited books including The Oxford Book of Jewish Stories and the upcoming Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. His story "Morirse está en Hebreo" was made into the award-winning movie My Mexican Shivah.
Stavans has received numerous awards, among them a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Jewish Book Award, an Emmy nomination, the Latino Book Award, Chile's Presidential Medal, the Rubé n Darí o Distinction, and the Cá tedra Roberto Bolañ o. His work has been translated into a dozen languages.