As the U.S. Latino population grows rapidly, and as the LGBTQ Latino community becomes more visible and a more crucial part of our literary and artistic heritage, there is an increasing demand for literature that successfully highlights these diverse lives. Edited by Lázaro Lima and Felice Picano, Ambientes is a revolutionary collection of fiction featuring stories by established authors as well as emerging voices that present a collective portrait of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience in America today. With a preface by Picano and an introduction by Lima that sets the stage for understanding Latino literary and cultural history, this is the first anthology to cross cultural and regional borders by offering a wide variety of urban, rural, East Coast, West Coast, and midwestern perspectives on Latina and Latino queers from different walks of life. Stories range from sensual pieces to comical romances and from inner-city dramas fueled by street language to portraits of gay domesticity, making this a much-needed collection for many different kinds of readers. The stories in this collection reflect a vibrant and creative community and redefine received notions of “gay” and “lesbian.”
Finalist, Over the Rainbow selection, American Library Association
Finalist, LGBT Anthology, Lambda Literary Awards
Best Special Interest Books, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Special Interest Books, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
Broken Souths offers the first in-depth study of the diverse field of contemporary Latina/o poetry. Its innovative angle of approach puts Latina/o and Latin American poets into sustained conversation in original and rewarding ways. In addition, author Michael Dowdy presents ecocritical readings that foreground the environmental dimensions of current Latina/o poetics.
Dowdy argues that a transnational Latina/o imaginary has emerged in response to neoliberalism—the free-market philosophy that underpins what many in the northern hemisphere refer to as “globalization.” His work examines how poets represent the places that have been “broken” by globalization’s political, economic, and environmental upheavals. Broken Souths locates the roots of the new imaginary in 1968, when the Mexican student movement crested and the Chicano and Nuyorican movements emerged in the United States. It theorizes that Latina/o poetics negotiates tensions between the late 1960s’ oppositional, collective identities and the present day’s radical individualisms and discourses of assimilation, including the “post-colonial,” “post-national,” and “post-revolutionary.” Dowdy is particularly interested in how Latina/o poetics reframes debates in cultural studies and critical geography on the relation between place, space, and nature.
Broken Souths features discussions of Latina/o writers such as Victor Hernández Cruz, Martín Espada, Juan Felipe Herrera, Guillermo Verdecchia, Marcos McPeek Villatoro, Maurice Kilwein Guevara, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Jack Agüeros, Marjorie Agosín, Valerie Martínez, and Ariel Dorfman, alongside discussions of influential Latin American writers, including Roberto Bolaño, Ernesto Cardenal, David Huerta, José Emilio Pacheco, and Raúl Zurita.
Since 1994, the Camino del Sol series has been one of the premier vehicles for Latina/o literary voices. Launched under the auspices of Chicana/o luminary Ray Gonzalez, it quickly established itself in both the Latina/o community and the publishing world as it garnered awards for its outstanding writing.
Featuring both established writers and first-time authors, Camino del Sol has published poetry and prose that convey something about the Latina/o experience—works that tap into universal truths through a distinct cultural lens. This volume celebrates fifteen years of books by bringing together some of the series’ best work, such as poetry from Francisco X. Alarcón, fiction from Christine Granados, and nonfiction from Luis Alberto Urrea. These voices echo the entire spectrum of Latina/o writing, from Chicana/o to Puerto Rican to Brazilian-American, and take in themes ranging from migration to gender.
Awards bestowed upon Camino del Sol titles include the PEN/Beyond Margins Award to Richard Blanco’s Directions to the Beach of the Dead; Before Columbus Foundation American Book Awards to Diana García’s When Living Was a Labor Camp and Luis Alberto Urrea’s Nobody’s Son; International Latino Book Awards to Pat Mora’s Adobe Odes and Kathleen Alcalá’s The Desert Remembers My Name; the Premio Aztlán literary prize to Sergio Troncoso’s The Last Tortilla; and the PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Award to Kathleen de Azevedo’s Samba Dreamers. All of these works are represented in this outstanding collection.
In a short span of time, Camino del Sol has cultivated an admirable and sizeable list of distinguished contemporary authors—and even garnered the first National Book Critics Circle Award for a Chicana/o for Juan Felipe Herrera’s Half of the World in Light. Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing is a benchmark for the series and a wonderful introduction to the world of Latina/o literature.
In this new study, Ylce Irizarry moves beyond literature that prioritizes assimilation to examine how contemporary fiction depicts being Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, or Puerto Rican within Chicana/o and Latina/o America. Irizarry establishes four dominant categories of narrative--loss, reclamation, fracture, and new memory--that address immigration, gender and sexuality, cultural nationalisms, and neocolonialism. As she shows, narrative concerns have moved away from the weathered notions of arrival and assimilation. Contemporary Chicana/o and Latina/o literatures instead tell stories that have little, if anything, to do with integration into the Anglo-American world. The result is the creation of new memory. This reformulation of cultural membership unmasks the neocolonial story and charts the conscious engagement of cultural memory. It outlines the ways contemporary Chicana/o and Latina/o communities create belonging and memory of their ethnic origins. An engaging contribution to an important literary tradition, Chicana/o and Latina/o Fiction privileges the stories Chicanas/os and Latinas/os remember about themselves rather than the stories of those subjugating them.
In Contemporary Latina/o Theater, Jon D. Rossini explores the complex relationship between theater and the creation of ethnicity in an unprecedented examination of six Latina/o playwrights and their works: Miguel Piñero, Luis Valdez, Guillermo Reyes, Octavio Solis, José Rivera, and Cherríe Moraga. Rossini exposes how these writers use the genre as a tool to reveal and transform existing preconceptions about their culture. Through “wrighting”—the triplicate process of writing plays, righting misconceptions about ethnic identity, and creating an entirely new way of understanding Latina/o culture—these playwrights directly intervene in current conversations regarding ethnic identity, providing the tools for audiences to reexplore their previously held perspectives outside the theater.
Examining these writers and their works in both cultural and historical contexts, Rossini reveals how playwrights use the liminal space of the stage—an area on the thresholds of both theory and reality—to “wright” new insights into Latina/o identity. They use the limits of the theater itself to offer practical explorations of issues that could otherwise be discussed only in highly theoretical terms.
Rossini traces playwrights’ methods as they address some of the most challenging issues facing contemporary Latinas/os in America: from the struggles for ethnic solidarity and the dangers of a community based in fear, to stereotypes of Latino masculinity and the problematic fusion of ethnicity and politics. Rossini discusses the looming specter of the border in theater, both as a conceptual device and as a literal reality—a crucial subject for modern Latinas/os, given recent legislation and other actions. Throughout, the author draws intriguing comparisons to the cultural limbo in which many Latinas/os find themselves today.
An indispensable volume for anyone interested in drama and ethnic studies, Contemporary Latina/o Theater underscores the power of theatricality in exploring and rethinking ethnicity. Rossini provides the most in-depth analysis of these plays to date, offering a groundbreaking look at the ability of playwrights to correct misconceptions and create fresh perspectives on diversity, culture, and identity in Latina/o America.
For almost twenty years, Ilan Stavans—described by the Washington Post as "Latin America’s liveliest and boldest critic and most innovative cultural enthusiast"—has interviewed path-breaking intellectuals and artists in a wide range of media. As host of the critically acclaimed PBS series La Plaza, he interviews guests on pressing issues that affect the Western Hemisphere today, asking hard-hitting questions on immigration, religion, bilingualism, race, and democracy. This book collects for the first time in one volume Stavans’s most provocative and enlightening interviews with Hispanics from both sides of the Rio Grande.
Spontaneous and surprising, these conversations reflect Latino life in the United States in all its facets. Among the more than two dozen selections, Edward James Olmos talks about Hispanics in Hollywood; John Leguizamo describes how he shapes a stage show; author Richard Rodriguez reflects on his gang background; Esmeralda Santiago takes on the Puerto Rican stereotype; and Piri Thomas shares thoughts on the writing of Down These Mean Streets. "A conversation is a tango," writes Stavans, "for it takes two to dance it." Conversations with Ilan Stavans invites readers to catch the rhythm and enjoy these unique meetings of minds.
A Critic's Journey
Ilan Stavans University of Michigan Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS3619.T385C75 2010 | Dewey Decimal 864.64
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.
Dialectical Imaginaries brings together essays that analyze the effects of class conflict and capitalist ideology on contemporary works of U.S. Latino/a literature. The editors argue that recent global events have compelled contemporary scholars to reexamine traditional interpretive models that center on identity politics and an ethics of multiculturalism. The volume seeks to demonstrate that materialist methodologies have a greater critical reach than other methods, and that Latino/a literary criticism should be more attuned to interpretive approaches that draw on Marxism and other globalizing social theories. The contributors analyze a wide range of literary works in fiction, poetry, drama, and memoir by writers including Rudolfo Anaya, Gloria Anzaldúa, Daniel Borzutzky, Angie Cruz, Sergio de la Pava, Mónica de la Torre, Sergio Elizondo, Juan Felipe Herrera, Rolando Hinojosa, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Óscar Martínez, Cherríe Moraga, Urayoán Noel, Emma Pérez, Pedro Pietri, Miguel Piñero, Ernesto Quiñónez, Ronald Ruiz, Hector Tobar, Rodrigo Toscano, Alfredo Véa, Helena María Viramontes, and others.
This anthology has its origins in the Encuentro theater festival, which was produced by the Latino Theater Company in association with the Latinx Theatre Commons in Los Angeles in 2014. Encuentro means “an encounter,” and meetings form a core theme in these six groundbreaking plays, each prefaced by a critical introduction from a leading Latinx theater scholar.
Playwrights Ruben C. Gonzalez, José Torres-Tama, Rickerby Hinds, Mariana Carreño King, Javier Antonio González, and Evelina Fernández exhibit a wide range of aesthetic approaches, dramatic structures, and themes, ranging from marriage, gentrification, racial and gendered violence, migration, and the ever-present politics of the U.S.–Mexico border. There is power in the communal experience of creating, witnessing, and participating in theater festivals. This anthology is a testament to that power and seeks to document the historic festival as well as to make these works available to a wider audience.
Encuentro: Latinx Performance for the New American Theater addresses interests of general audiences committed to the performing arts; scholars and students of Latinx, gender, and ethnic studies; university, college, and high school theater programs; and regional theaters looking to diversify their programming.
Homecoming Queers provides a critical discussion of the multiple strategies used by queer Latina authors and artists in the United States to challenge silence and invisibility within mainstream media, literary canons, and theater spaces. Marivel T. Danielson's analysis reveals the extensive legacy of these cultural artists, including novelists, filmmakers, students and activists, comedians, performers, and playwrights. By clearly discussing the complexities and universalities of ethnic, racial, sexual, gender, and class intersections between queer Chicana and U.S. Latinas, Danielson explores the multiple ways identity shapes and shades creative expression. Weaknesses and gaps are revealed in the treatment of difference as a whole, within dominant and marginalized communities.
Spanning multiple genres and forms, and including scholarly theory alongside performances, films, narratives, and testimonials, Homecoming Queers leads readers along a crucial path toward understanding and overcoming the silences that previously existed across these fields.
In this innovative new study, Laura Halperin examines literary representations of harm inflicted on Latinas’ minds and bodies, and on the places Latinas inhabit, but she also explores how hope can be found amid so much harm. Analyzing contemporary memoirs and novels by Irene Vilar, Loida Maritza Pérez, Ana Castillo, Cristina García, and Julia Alvarez, she argues that the individual harm experienced by Latinas needs to be understood in relation to the collective histories of aggression against their communities.
Intersections of Harm is more than just a nuanced examination of the intersections among race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. It also explores the intersections of deviance and defiance, individual and collective, and mind, body, and place. Halperin proposes that, ironically, the harmful ascriptions of Latina deviance are tied to the hopeful expressions of Latina defiance. While the Latina protagonists’ defiance feeds into the labels of deviance imposed on them, it also fuels the protagonists’ ability to resist such harmful treatment. In this analysis, Halperin broadens the parameters of literary studies of female madness, as she compels us to shift our understanding of where madness lies. She insists that the madness readily attributed to individual Latinas is entwined with the madness of institutional structures of oppression, and she maintains that psychological harm is bound together with physical and geopolitical harm.
In her pan-Latina study, Halperin shows how each writer’s work emerges from a unique set of locales and histories, but she also traces a network of connections among them. Bringing together concepts from feminism, postcolonialism, illness studies, and ecocriticism, Intersections of Harm opens up exciting new avenues for Latina/o studies.
Surveying the Latina theatre movement in the United States since the 1980s, La Voz Latina brings together contemporary plays and performance pieces by innovative Latina playwrights. This rich collection of varying styles, forms, themes, and genres includes work by Yareli Arizmendi, Josefina Báez, The Colorado Sisters, Migdalia Cruz, Evelina Fernández, Cherríe Moraga, Carmen Pelaez, Carmen Rivera, Celia H. Rodríguez, Diane Rodriguez, and Milcha Sanchez-Scott, as well as commentary by Kathy Perkins and Caridad Svich on the present state of Latinas in theatre roles.
La Voz Latina expands the field of Latina theatre while situating it in the larger spectrum of American stage and performance studies. In highlighting the ethnic and cultural roots of the performance artists, Elizabeth C. Ramírez and Catherine Casiano provide historical context as well as a short biography, production history, and artistic statement from each playwright.
LatinAsian Cartographies examines how Latina/o and Asian American writers provide important counter-narratives to the stories of racial encroachment that have come to characterize twenty-first century dominant discourses on race. Susan Thananopavarn contends that the Asian American and Latina/o presence in the United States, although often considered marginal in discourses of American history and nationhood, is in fact crucial to understanding how national identity has been constructed historically and continues to be constructed in the present day.
Thananopavarn creates a new “LatinAsian” view of the United States that emphasizes previously suppressed aspects of national history, including imperialism, domestic racism during World War II, Cold War operations in Latin America and Asia, and the politics of borders in an age of globalization. LatinAsian Cartographies ultimately reimagines national narratives in a way that transforms dominant ideas of what it means to be American.
Children’s and young adult literature has become an essential medium for identity formation in contemporary Latino/a culture in the United States. This book is an original collection of more than thirty interviews led by Frederick Luis Aldama with Latino/a authors working in the genre. The conversations revolve around the conveyance of young Latino/a experience, and what that means for the authors as they overcome societal obstacles and aesthetic complexity. The authors also speak extensively about their experiences within the publishing industry and with their audiences. As such, Aldama’s collection presents an open forum to contemporary Latino/a writers working in a vital literary category and sheds new light on the myriad formats, distinctive nature, and cultural impact it offers.
The whiteness of mainstream environmentalism often fails to account for the richness and variety of Latinx environmental thought. Building on insights of environmental justice scholarship as well as critical race and ethnic studies, the editors and contributors to Latinx Environmentalisms map the ways Latinx cultural texts integrate environmental concerns with questions of social and political justice.
Original interviews with creative writers, including Cherríe Moraga, Helena María Viramontes, and Héctor Tobar, as well as new essays by noted scholars of Latinx literature and culture, show how Latinx authors and cultural producers express environmental concerns in their work. These chapters, which focus on film, visual art, and literature—and engage in fields such as disability studies, animal studies, and queer studies—emphasize the role of racial capitalism in shaping human relationships to the more-than-human world and reveal a vibrant tradition of Latinx decolonial environmentalism.
Latinx Environmentalisms accounts for the ways Latinx cultures are environmental, but often do not assume the mantle of “environmentalism.”
It has been half a century since a few now-canonical Latin American writers introduced magical realism to the world. In that time, new generations of Latinx writers and artists have used that watershed moment as a springboard into new and bold explorations of speculative and fantasy forms. Collectively, they have found exciting new ways to delve into Latinx identities and cultures across genres. Latinx Rising, the first anthology of science fiction and fantasy by Latinxs living in the United States, exuberantly displays the full range of their art.
The new and established voices assembled here (including Kathleen Alcalá, Carmen Maria Machado, Ernest Hogan, and other luminaries) invite us to imagine a Latinx past, present, and future that have not been whitewashed by mainstream perspectives. As in the best mixtapes, this anthology moves satisfyingly through the loud and brash, the quiet and thoughtful. There are ghosts, space aliens, robots—and a grandmother who unwittingly saves the universe through her cooking. The result is a deeply pleasurable read that pushes beyond magical realism and social realism to demonstrate all the thrilling possibilities of what Latinx literature can be.
Xbox videogamer cholo cyberpunks. Infants who read before they talk. Vatos locos, romancing abuelos, border crossers and border smugglers, drug kingpins, Latina motorbike riders, philosophically musing tweens, and so much more.
The stories in this dynamic bilingual prose-art collection touch on the universals of romance, family, migration and expulsion, and everyday life in all its zany configurations. Each glimpse into lives at every stage—from newborns and children to teens, young adults, and the elderly—further submerges readers in psychological ups and downs. In a world filled with racism, police brutality, poverty, and tensions between haves and have-nots, these flashes of fictional insight bring gleaming clarity to life lived where all sorts of borders meet and shift.
Frederick Luis Aldama and graphic artists from Mapache Studios give shape to ugly truths in the most honest way, creating new perceptions, thoughts, and feelings about life in the borderlands of the Américas. Each bilingual prose-art fictional snapshot offers an unsentimentally complex glimpse into what it means to exist at the margins of society today. These unflinching and often brutal fictions crisscross spiritual, emotional, and physical borders as they give voice to all those whom society chooses not to see.
Mexico, Nation in Transit examines how the Mexican migrant population in the United States is represented in the Mexican national im-aginary—on both sides of the border. Exploring representations of migration in literature, film, and music produced in the past twenty years, Christina Sisk argues that Mexico is imagined as a nation that exists outside of its territorial borders and into the United States. Although some Americans feel threatened by the determined resilience of Mexican national identity among immigrants, Sisk counters that the persis-tence of immigrant Mexicans’ identities with their homeland—with the cities, states, regions, and nation where they were born or have family—is not in opposition to their identity as Americans.
Sisk’s transnational investigation moves easily across the US–Mexico border, analyzing films made on both sides, literature de la frontera, Mexican rock music, migrant narratives, and texts written by second- and third-generation immigrants. Included are the perspectives of those who left Mexico, those who were left behind, and the children who travel back “home.” Sisk discovers that the loss of Mexicans to the United States through emigration has had an effect on Mexico similar to the impact of the perceived Mexican invasion of the United States.
Spanning the social sciences and the humanities, Mexico, Nation in Transit poses a new transnational alternative to the postnational view that geopolitical borders are being erased by the forces of migration and globalization, and the nationalist view that borders must be strictly enforced. It shows that borders, like identities, are not easy to locate precisely.
Although investigations of Hispanic popular culture were approached for decades as part of folklore studies, in recent years scholarly explorations—of lucha libre, telenovelas, comic strips, comedy, baseball, the novela rosa and the detective novel, sci-fi, even advertising—have multiplied. What has been lacking is an overarching canvas that offers context for these studies, focusing on the crucial, framing questions: What is Hispanic pop culture? How does it change over time and from region to region? What is the relationship between highbrow and popular culture in the Hispanic world? Does it make sense to approach the whole Hispanic world as homogenized when understanding Hispanic popular culture? What are the differences between nations, classes, ethnic groups, religious communities, and so on? And what distinguishes Hispanic popular culture in the United States?
In ¡Muy Pop!,Ilan Stavans and Frederick Luis Aldama carry on a sustained, free-flowing, book-length conversation about these questions and more, concentrating on a wide range of pop manifestations and analyzing them at length. In addition to making Hispanic popular culture visible to the first-time reader, ¡Muy Pop!sheds new light on the making and consuming of Hispanic pop culture for academics, specialists, and mainstream critics.
During the last two decades of the twentieth century, U.S. Latina writers have made a profound impact on American letters with fiction in both mainstream and regional venues. Following on the heels of this vibrant and growing body of work, New Latina Narrative offers the first in-depth synthesis and literary analysis of this transethnic genre. Focusing on the dynamic writing published in the 1980s and 1990s by Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban American, and Domincan American women, New Latina Narrative illustrates how these writers have redefined the concepts of multiculturalism and diversity in American society. As participants in both mainstream and grassroots forms of multiculturalism, these new Latina narrativists have created a feminine space within postmodern ethnicity, disrupting the idealistic veneer of diversity with which publishers often market this fiction. In this groundbreaking study, author Ellen McCracken opens the conventional boundaries of Latino/a literary criticism, incorporating elements of cultural studies theory and contemporary feminism. Emphasizing the diversity within new Latina narrative, McCracken discusses the works of more than two dozen writers, including Julia Alvarez, Denise Chávez, Sandra Cisneros, Cristina Garcia, Graciela Limón, Demetria Martínez, Pat Mora, Cherríe Moraga, Mary Helen Ponce, and Helena María Viramontes. She stresses such themes as the resignification of master narrative, the autobiographical self and collective identity, popular religiosity, subculture and transgression, and narrative harmony and dissonance. New Latina Narrative provides readers an enriched basis for reconceiving the overall Latino/a literary field and its relation to other contemporary literary and cultural trends. McCracken's original approach extends the Latina literary canon—both the works to be studied and the issues to be examined—resulting in a valuable work for all readers of women's studies, contemporary American literature, ethnic studies, communications, and sociology.
Once Upon a Cuento
Edited by Lyn Miller-Lachmann Northwestern University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PZ5.O583 2003
Once Upon a Cuento is an anthology of short stories by contemporary Latinx authors. The stories, written for young people, grade five and up, explore heritage and history, identity, language, and relationships from the perspective of Mexican-American, Cuban-American, Dominican-American, and Puerto Rican writers. In all, the collection features seventeen stories by well-known and emerging writers, most of which are original to this collection. Contributors include acclaimed Puerto Rican children's authors Nicholasa Mohr and Carmen T. Bernier-Grand; Cuban-American novelist, essayist, and poet Virgil Suárez; and Mexican-American short story writers and teachers Lorraine López and Sergio Troncoso.
The stories are grouped by theme—heritage, holidays, and contemporary culture; family life; friends and other relationships; and dealing with differences. Individual stories explore additional themes such as the challenge of making do with little money, the process of moving to a new country and learning English, and young people's relationships to animals and to the natural world. Each story contains an introduction that offers historical, cultural, and biographical information. A general introduction and list of works by the thirteen contributors offer further avenues for research and discussion.
In his groundbreaking new study, Permissible Narratives: The Promise of Latino/a Literature, Christopher González examines the difficulties Latina/o writers face in writing beyond the narrow expectations of U.S. readership in the stories they tell. González argues that a constrained conception of the possibilities of storytelling by and about Latinos diminishes the development and progression of narrative form. Through an examination of Latina/o writers against the a priori mode of engaging with nonethnic literature in the United States, González explores the limitations and challenges Latina/o authors have confronted via the shaping power of their narratives to reach a sustainable audience.
Bringing together cultural critique, memory, narratology, cognition, and comprehension, González examines Latina/o authors—such as Oscar “Zeta” Acosta, Gloria Anzaldúa, Piri Thomas, Giannina Braschi, Gilbert Hernandez, Sandra Cisneros, and Junot Díaz—investigating how they successfully, and sometimes unsuccessfully, use the expansive canvas of narrative form to capture the imaginations of an open-minded readership. Permissible Narratives highlights both the inequitable accessibility of narrative devices and, crucially, the daring of Latina/o authors to nurture a readership to afford the same literary deference to them that is so often afforded to white, male, straight authors.
Among students and aficionados of contemporary literature, the work of Latina and Latino poets holds a particular fascination. Through works imbued with fire and passion, these writers have kindled new enthusiasm in their compatriots and admiration in non-Latino readers. This book brings together recent interviews with fifteen Latino/a poets, a cross-section of Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Cuban voices who discuss not only their work but also related issues that help define their place in American literature. Each talks at length about the craft of his or her poetry—both the influences and the process behind it—and takes a stand on social and political issues affecting Latinos across the United States.
The interviews feature both established writers published as early as the 1960s and emerging artists, each of whom has enjoyed success in other literary forms also. As Bruce Dick's insightful questions reveal, the key threads linking these writers are their connections to their families and communities and their concern for civil rights—believing like Chicana writer Pat Mora that "the work of the poet is for the people." The interviews also reveal diversity among and within the three communities, from Victor Hernández Cruz, who traces Latino collective identity to Africa and claims that all Latinos are "swimming in olive oil," to Cuban writer Gustavo Perez Firmat, who considers nationality more important than ethnicity and says that "the term Latino erases [his] nationality."
The dialogues also offer new insights on the place of Chicano/a writings in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, on the Puerto Rican/Nuyorican establishment, and on the anti-Castro stand of Cuban-born poets. As these writers answer questions about their work, background, ethnic identity, and political ideology, they provide a wealth of biographical, intellectual, and literary material collected here for the first time. A Poet's Truth is a provocative and revealing book that not only conveys the fire of these writers' passions but also sheds important light on a whole literary movement.
Sandra María Esteves
Victor Hernández Cruz
Carolina Hospital and Carlos Medina
Judith Ortiz Cofer
Gustavo Pérez Firmat
Benjamin Alire Sáenz
The Politics of Privacy in Contemporary Native, Latinx, and Asian American Metafictions is the first book-length study to approach contemporary issues of racialized visibility and privacy through narrative form. Using a formal maneuver, narrative privacy, Colleen G. Eils analyzes how writers of contemporary metafictions explicitly withhold stories from readers to illuminate and theorize the politics of privacy in a post–9/11 US context. As a formal device and reading strategy, narrative privacy has two primary critical interests: affirming the historically political nature of visibility, particularly for people of color and indigenous people, and theorizing privacy as a political assertion of power over representation and material vulnerability.
Eils breaks strict disciplinary silos by putting visibility/surveillance studies, ethnic studies, and narrative studies in conversation with one another. Eils also puts texts in the Native, Latinx, and Asian American literary canon in conversation with each other. She focuses on texts by Viet Thanh Nguyen, David Treuer, Monique Truong, Rigoberto González, Nam Le, and Stephen Graham Jones that call into question our positions as readers and critics. In deliberately and self-consciously evading readers through the form of their fiction, these writers seize privacy as a political tool for claiming and wielding power in both representational and material registers.
Ariana E. Vigil’s interdisciplinary study, Public Negotiations: Gender and Journalism in Contemporary US Latina/o Literature examines how the boundaries of the Latina/o public sphere are negotiated through mass media. : Focusing on a wide range of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Latina/o literary texts that feature Latina/o media figures—works by Lucha Corpi, Oscar Zeta Acosta, Cherríe Moraga, and Rubén Salazar, among others—Vigil examines the relationship between Latina/o media and Latina/o publics and reflects on how literature demonstrates a sustained interest in this relationship.
Vigil also reveals how these conversations inevitably engage with gender concerns, showing how the role of gender in this relationship is neither static nor consistent over time. Examining how these works represent such things as gendered Latina/o counter publics, how Central American–American communities are gendered in relation to other US Latina/o communities, how and why gendered expressions of Latinidad are produced and marketed, and how print media provides an important space for dissemination of diverse ideas, Public Negotiations considers the way in which gender functions in terms of both the construction and reception of a Latina/o public in a transnational space. Through thorough examination and with deep insight, Vigil shows how literature can invaluably reflect current and historical issues surrounding media and the public sphere and help us imagine new, hopefully better, possibilities.
Puro Teatro, A Latina Anthology
Edited by Alberto Sandoval-Sánchez and Nancy Sandoval Sternbach University of Arizona Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS628.H57P87 2000 | Dewey Decimal 812.54080928709
From plays produced on shoestring budgets in the 1970s to today's high-tech performance pieces, Latina theater has emerged as a vibrant art form whose time has come. This anthology showcases this dynamic new genre through the works of established playwrights such as Cherríe Moraga and Dolores Prida as well as talented new playwrights and performers who have emerged in the past decade such as Migdalia Cruz, Elaine Romero, and Monica Palacios.
Puro Teatro, A Latina Anthology includes a variety of theatrical genres: plays, performance pieces, puppet shows, innovative collaborations, and testimonials. It features previously unpublished plays from a broad range of experiences within the Latino/a community, including families and home, friends and community building, coming of age and empowerment, and sexual and ethnic identities. The editors' introduction provides a comprehensive survey of contemporary Latina theater, placing it in its theatrical context and examining its divergent roots. Puro Teatro, A Latina Anthology is the first book of its kind to reflect in print a diversified body of writing that turns the spotlight on some of America's most talented and prolific artists. A subsequent volume will complement this anthology with a theoretical, critical reading of Latina theater and performance.
Full Length Plays Botánica by Dolores Prida Heart of the Earth: A Popul Vuh Story by Cherríe Moraga The Fat-Free Chicana and the Snow Cap Queen by Elaine Romero
One-act Plays Las nuevas tamaleras by Alicia Mena And Where Was Pancho Villa When You Really Needed Him? by Silviana Wood Fuschia by Janis Astor del Valle
Performance Pieces Nostalgia Maldita: 1-900-MEXICO : A StairMaster Piece by Yareli Arizmendi Good Grief, Lolita by Wilma Bonet A Roomful of Men by Amparo García Crow Describe Your Work by Monica Palacios
"Battle Worn," by Laura Esparza
"Dancing with the Voice of Truth," by María Mar
"Searching for Sanctuaries: Cruising through Town in a Red Convertible," by Diane Rodríguez
"Home, Desire, Memory: There Are No Borders Here," by Caridad Svich
"Tales of a South-of-the-Border/North-of-the-Stereotype Theatre Director, by Susana Tubert
"Catching the Next Play: The Joys and Perils of Playwriting," by Edit Villarreal
Full-Length Plays, Collaborative Works Frida: The Story of Frida Kahlo by Migdalia Cruz and Hilary Blecher Memorias de la revolución by Carmelita Tropicana and Uzi Parnes
This is the first book-length study of one of the most prominent and prolific Latino academics, Ilan Stavans. He has written extensively on Latino culture, Jewish culture, dictionaries, immigration, language, Spanglish, soccer, translation, travel, selfies, and God. The Restless Ilan Stavans surveys his interests, achievements, and flaws while he is still in the midst of an extraordinarily productive career. A native of Mexico who became a U.S. citizen, he is an outsider to both the Chicano community that often resents him as an interloper and the American Jewish community that he, who grew up speaking Yiddish in Mexico City, often chides. The book examines his unlikely rise to prominence within the context of the spread of multiculturalism as a seminal principle within American culture. A self-proclaimed cosmopolitan who rejects borders, Stavans is both insider and outsider to the myriad of subjects he approaches.
In Shaming into Brown: Somatic Transactions of Race in Latina/o Literature, Stephanie Fetta asserts that our bodies are fundamental to how we live and how we make meaning. Anchored by two psychoanalytic theories, bioenergetic analysis developed by Alexander Lowen and affect theory put forth by Silvan Tomkins, Fetta examines Latinx fiction to draw attention to the cultural role of the intelligent, emotional, and communicative body—the soma—in relation to shame. She argues that we bring the soma—the physical, emotive, and social register of our subjectivity—to the text as we do to our lives,proposing that the power of racialization operates at the level of somatic expression and reception through habituated, socially cued behaviors that are not readily subject to intentional control.
Fetta examines shame beyond individual experiences, looking at literary renderings of the cultural practice of racial shaming that are deeply embedded into our laws, hiring practices, marketing strategies, and more. Grounding her analysis in the works of Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga, Shaming into Brown focuses on exposing the underpinnings of racialized shame and does so through analyzing “scenes of racialization” in prominent works by authors such as Junot Díaz, Sandra Cisneros, and Oscar Zeta Acosta.
Memoir typically places selfhood at the center. Interestingly, the genre's recent surge in popularity coincides with breakthroughs in scholarship focused on selfhood in a new way: as an always renewing, always emerging entity. Suzanne Bost draws on feminist and posthumanist ideas to explore how three contemporary memoirists decenter the self. Latinx writers John Rechy, Aurora Levins Morales, and Gloria E. Anzaldúa work in places where personal history intertwines with communities, environments, animals, plants, and spirits. This dedication to interconnectedness resonates with ideas in posthumanist theory while calling on indigenous worldviews. As Bost argues, our view of life itself expands if we look at how such frameworks interact with queer theory, disability studies, ecological thinking, and other fields. These webs of relation in turn mediate experience, agency, and lift itself.A transformative application of posthumanist ideas to Latinx, feminist, and literary studies, Shared Selves shows how memoir can encourage readers to think more broadly and deeply about what counts as human life.
In the Latinx comics community, there is much to celebrate today, with more Latinx comic book artists than ever before. The resplendent visual-verbal storyworlds of these artists reach into and radically transform so many visual and storytelling genres. Tales from la Vida celebrates this space by bringing together more than eighty contributions by extraordinary Latinx creators. Their short visual-verbal narratives spring from autobiographical experience as situated within the language, culture, and history that inform Latinx identity and life. Tales from la Vida showcases the huge variety of styles and worldviews of today’s Latinx comic book and visual creators.
Whether it’s detailing the complexities of growing up—mono- or multilingual, bicultural, straight, queer, or feminist Latinx—or focusing on aspects of pop culture, these graphic vignettes demonstrate the expansive complexity of Latinx identities. Taken individually and together, these creators—including such legendary artists as Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Roberta Gregory, and Kat Fajardo, to name a few—and their works show the world that when it comes to Latinx comics, there are no limits to matters of content and form. As we travel from one story to the next and experience the unique ways that each creator chooses to craft his or her story, our hearts and minds wake to the complex ways that Latinxs live within and actively transform the world.
The first anthology to focus exclusively on queer readings of Spanish, Latin American, and US Latina lesbian literature and culture, Tortilleras interrogates issues of gender, national identity, race, ethnicity, and class to show the impossibility of projecting a singular Hispanic or Latina Lesbian. Examining carefully the works of a range of lesbian writers and performance artists, including Carmelita Tropicana and Christina Peri Rossi, among others, the contributors create a picture of the complicated and multi-textured contributions of Latina and Hispanic lesbians to literature and culture. More than simply describing this sphere of creativity, the contributors also recover from history the long, veiled existence of this world, exposing its roots, its impact on lesbian culture, and, making the power of lesbian performance and literature visible.
No contemporary development underscores the transnational linkage between the United States and Spanish-language América today more than the wave of in-migration from Spanish-language countries during the 1980s and 1990s. This development, among others, has made clear what has always been true, that the United States is part of Spanish-language América. Translation and oral communication from Spanish to English have been constant phenomena since before the annexation of the Mexican Southwest in 1848. The expanding number of counter-national translations from English to Spanish of Latinx fictional narratives by mainstream presses between the 1990s and 2010 is an indication of significant change in the relationship. A Translational Turn explores both the historical reality of Spanish to English translation and the “new” counter-national English to Spanish translation of Latinx narratives. More than theorizing about translation, this book underscores long-standing contact, such as code-mixing and bi-multilingualism, between the two languages in U.S. language and culture. Although some political groups in this country persist in seeing and representing this country as having a single national tongue and community, the linguistic ecology of both major cities and the suburban periphery, here and in the global world, is bilingualism and multilingualism.
Just as mariners use triangulation, mapping an imaginary triangle between two known positions and an unknown location, so, David J. Vázquez contends, Latino authors in late twentieth-century America employ the coordinates of familiar ideas of self to find their way to new, complex identities. Through this metaphor, Vázquez reveals how Latino autobiographical texts, written after the rise of cultural nationalism in the 1960s, challenge mainstream notions of individual identity and national belonging in the United States.
In a traditional autobiographical work, the protagonist frequently opts out of his or her community. In the works that Vázquez analyzes in Triangulations, protagonists instead opt in to collective groups—often for the express political purpose of redefining that collective. Reading texts by authors such as Ernesto Galarza, Jesús Colón, Piri Thomas, Oscar “Zeta” Acosta, Judith Ortiz Cofer, John Rechy, Julia Alvarez, and Sandra Cisneros, Vázquez engages debates about the relationship between literature and social movements, the role of cultural nationalism in projects for social justice, the gender and sexual problematics of 1960s cultural nationalist groups, the possibilities for interethnic coalitions, and the interpretation of autobiography. In the process, Triangulations considers the potential for cultural nationalism as a productive force for aggrieved communities of color in their struggles for equality.
This book examines the ways in which recent U.S. Latina literature challenges popular definitions of nationhood and national identity. It explores a group of feminist texts that are representative of the U.S. Latina literary boom of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, when an emerging group of writers gained prominence in mainstream and academic circles. Through close readings of select contemporary Mexican American, Puerto Rican, and Cuban American works, Maya Socolovsky argues that these narratives are “remapping” the United States so that it is fully integrated within a larger, hemispheric Americas.
Looking at such concerns as nation, place, trauma, and storytelling, writers Denise Chavez, Sandra Cisneros, Esmeralda Santiago, Ana Castillo, Himilce Novas, and Judith Ortiz Cofer challenge popular views of Latino cultural “unbelonging” and make strong cases for the legitimate presence of Latinas/os within the United States. In this way, they also counter much of today’s anti-immigration rhetoric.
Imagining the U.S. as part of a broader "Americas," these writings trouble imperialist notions of nationhood, in which political borders and a long history of intervention and colonization beyond those borders have come to shape and determine the dominant culture's writing and the defining of all Latinos as "other" to the nation.
War Echoes examines how Latina/o cultural production has engaged with U.S. militarism in the post–Viet Nam era. Analyzing literature alongside film, memoir, and activism, Ariana E. Vigil highlights the productive interplay among social, political, and cultural movements while exploring Latina/o responses to U.S. intervention in Central America and the Middle East. These responses evolved over the course of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries—from support for anti-imperial war, as seen in Alejandro Murguia's Southern Front, to the disavowal of all war articulated in works such as Demetria Martinez’s Mother Tongue and Camilo Mejia’s Road from Ar Ramadi. With a focus on how issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect and are impacted by war and militarization, War Echoes illustrates how this country’s bellicose foreign policies have played an integral part in shaping U.S. Latina/o culture and identity and given rise to the creation of works that recognize how militarized violence and values, such as patriarchy, hierarchy, and obedience, are both enacted in domestic spheres and propagated abroad.
The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry
Edited by Francisco Aragón; Foreword by Juan Felipe Herrera University of Arizona Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS591.H58W56 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.54080868
The Wind Shifts gathers, for the first time, works by emerging Latino and Latina poets in the twenty-first century. Here readers will discover 25 new and vital voices including Naomi Ayala, Richard Blanco, David Dominguez, Gina Franco, Sheryl Luna, and Urayoán Noel. All of the writers included in this volume have published poetry in well-regarded literary magazines. Some have published chapbooks or first collections, but none had published more than one book at the time of selection. This results in a freshness that energizes the enterprise.
Certainly there is poetry here that is political, but this is not a polemical book; it is a poetry book. While conscious of their roots, the artists are equally conscious of living in the contemporary world—fully engaged with the possibilities of subject and language. The variety is tantalizing. There are sonnets and a sestina; poems about traveling and living overseas; poems rooted in the natural world and poems embedded in suburbia; poems nourished by life on the U.S.–Mexico border and poems electrified by living in Chicago or Los Angeles or San Francisco or New York City.
Some of the poetry is traditional; some is avant-garde; some is informed by traditional poetry in Spanish; some follows English forms that are hundreds of years old. There are love poems, spells that defy logic, flashes of hope, and moments of loss. In short, this is the rich and varied poetry of young, talented North American Latinos and Latinas.
A World Not to Come
Raúl Coronado Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS153.H56C68 2013 | Dewey Decimal 810.9868073
In 1808 Napoleon invaded Spain and deposed the king. Overnight, Hispanics were forced to confront modernity and look beyond monarchy and religion for new sources of authority. Coronado focuses on how Texas Mexicans used writing to remake the social fabric in the midst of war and how a Latino literary and intellectual life was born in the New World.