Cover image for Herencia : the anthology of Hispanic literature of the United States
Herencia : the anthology of Hispanic literature of the United States
Kanellos, Nicolás.
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xii, 644 pages ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS508.H57 H48 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Herencia (meaning "inheritance" or "heritage") is the first anthology to bring together literature from the entire history of Hispanic writing in the United States, from the age of exploration to the present. The product of a ten-year project involving hundreds of scholars nationwide, Herenciais the most comprehensive literary collection available, spanning over three centuries and including writers from all the major Hispanic ethnic communities, and writing from diverse genres. Here is the voice of the conqueror and the conquered, the revolutionary and the reactionary, the native and the uprooted or landless. Of course, readers will find pieces by such leading writers as Piri Thomas, Luis Valdez, Isabel Allende, Oscar Hijuelos, and Reinaldo Arenas. But what reallydistinguishes this anthology is its historical depth and its rich, complex portrait of Hispanic literature in the United States. Beginning with Cabeza de Vaca's account of his explorations in the New World, the anthology includes a passage from La Florida, a narrative historical poem of 22,000verses, written by Franciscan friar Alonso de Escobedo; an attack on Mexican stereotypes in the nascent movie industry, written by Nicasio Idar, editor of Laredo's La Cronica; and an essay about Coney Island written by revolutionary Jose Marti. Embracing Chicano, Nuyorican, Cuban American, and Latino writings, the voices of immigrants and the voices of exiles, Herencia makes a vital contribution to our understanding not only of Hispanic writing in the United States, but also of the great contribution Hispanics have made to the UnitedStates.

Author Notes

Nicolas Kanellos is the Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Literature at the University of Houston and the Director of Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage. He is also founding publisher of the Hispanic literary journal The Americas Review and founder of the nation's oldest and most esteemed Hispanic publishing house, Arte Publico Press
Kenya Dworkin y Mendez: Carnegie-Mellon University
Jose B. Fernandez: University of Central Florida
Erlinda Gonzalez-Berry: Oregon State University
Agnes Lugo-Ortiz: Dartmouth College
Charles Tatum: University of Arizona

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Taking its title from the Spanish word for heritage, this comprehensive anthology traces the history of Hispanic writing in the U.S., from chronicles of early explorers to contemporary writers such as Oscar Hijuelos and Reinaldo Arenas. The biographical information that accompanies each piece often proves to be as informative as the writing itself, as it helps put the piece into historical and cultural context. The collection, which is organized chronologically with each section grouped by content, does an excellent job of highlighting the political, cultural, and economic issues that have confronted the Hispanic community for the past half millennium. This collection also well represents the diversity of Hispanic authors, showcasing Chicano, Nuyorican, Cuban American, and Latino writings. The incredible scope of the anthology, which includes essays, poems, short fiction, and historical primary documents, will leave many readers feeling as if they have just completed a semester-long course in Latin American literature and history. This superior selection will prove to be a much-needed source of information in library collections. --Brendan Dowling

Library Journal Review

Ten years in the making, this anthology is an unprecedented collection of writing in North America from the age of the Spanish explorers in the 16th century to the present. Kanellos is most famous for founding Arte P#blico Press, the oldest Hispanic publishing house in the United States. As he states in his lengthy introduction, while most people think American letters began with the English Colonies, Spanish had been spoken and written in North America since the early 1500s. From the writings of explorers like Alvar N#$ez Cabeza de Vaca, who wandered from Florida to the Southwest for eight years, to the early political defense of Hispanic culture in 19th-century Texas, to the classic verse of the Nuyorican poets of urban postwar America, Herencia comprehensively collects an underacknowledged literature. The anthology is divided into sometimes questionable sections, as when the categorization is based on a writer's birthplace rather than the content of his or her work. This is especially evident in the placement of Junot D!az, whose work epitomizes U.S. Latino writing, in the "immigrant" section. Still, the difficulty of categorizing the Latino experience excuses this problem, and since so many essential works from Pedro Pietri, Cherrie Moraga, Reinaldo Arenas, Julia de Burgos, Rodolfo "Corky" Gonz lez, and Jos Mart! are included, Herencia is absolutely indispensable. Recommended for all academic and public libraries. Adriana Lopez, "Cr!ticas" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Alvar Nunez Cabeza de VacaFray Marcos de NizaAlonso Gregorio de EscobedoGaspar Perez de VillagraFray Francisco de EscobarFray Matias Saenz de San AntonioJose Francisco PalomaresBrigida BrionesMaria de las Angustias de la Guerra de OrdPlaton VallejoJose Policarpo RodriguezJuan Nepomuceno SeguinFrancisco RamirezPablo de la GuerraJuan Nepomuceno CortinaMiguel Antonio Otero, Jr.Maria Amparo Ruiz de BurtonEusebio ChaconAurora Lucero White Lea"P.G."Jovita IdarLa DefensaLorenzo Pineiro Rivera et al.Alonso S. PeralesEmma Tenayuca and Homer BrooksIsabel GonzalezAmerico ParedesAdina De ZavalaAdolfo CarrilloHerminia ChaconJovita GonzalezMarcelinaNina Otero-WarrenFray Angelico ChavezRodolfo "Corky" GonzalesMiguel MendezAluristaRolando HinojosaPedro PietriMiguel AlgarinLuis ValdezJose YglesiasPiri ThomasMiguel PineroNicholasa MohrTato LavieraCherrie MoragaGloria AnzalduaAlicia Achy ObejasSandra Maria EstevesAurora Levins Morales and Rosario MoralesOscar HijuelosGraciela LimonGustavo Perez FirmatEvelio GrilloSabine UlibarriTomas RiveraHelena Maria ViramontesRoberta FernandezJudith Ortiz CoferMercedes de AcostaVictor Hernandez CruzLorna Dee CervantesPat MoraAlberto Alvaro RiosJose MartiFrancisco Gonzalo "Pachin" MarinNicanor Bolet PerazaAlirio Diaz GuerraSalomon de la SelvaA. Ortiz-VargasGuillermo Cotto-ThornerWen GalvezGustavo Aleman BolanosConrado EspinosaDaniel VenegasAlberto O'FarrillBernardo VegaMiguel Angel FigueroaAmerico MeanaGonzalo O'NeillLuis PerezRene MarquesPedro Juan SotoJose Luis GonzalezIvan AcostaRamon "Tianguis" PerezJunot DiazMario BencastroLeonor Villegas de MagnonMaria Cristina MenaLuisa CapetilloMaria Luisa GarzaJulio G. ArceJesus Rodriguez and Netty RodriguezJesus ColonConsuelo Lee TapiaSara Estela RamirezTomas GaresGraficoJoaquin ColonRodolfo UrangaErasmo VandoEliseo Perez DiazWilfredo BraschiErnesto GalarzaJesus ColonRoberto FernandezIsaac GoldembergDolores PridaIsabel AllendeJulia de BurgosClemente Soto VelezLucha CorpiVirgil SuarezElias Miguel MunozCristina GarciaJose Alvarez de Toledo and Jose Alvarez de ToledoDuboisVicente Rocafuerte BejaranoFelix VarelaEnrique Jose VaronaJose MartiJose Maria HerediaMiguel Teurbe TolonPedro SanticiliaJuan Clemente ZeneaBonifacio ByrneLola Rodriguez de TioFrancisco Gonzalo "Pachin" MarinFrancisco SellenJose MartiAndrea Villarreal and Teresa VillarrealEnrique Flores MagonRicardo Flores MagonMariano AzuelaSantiago ArguelloGustavo SolanoLironJuan Antonio CorretjerCarmita LandestoyLino Novas CalvoJose KozerReinaldo ArenasLuisa ValenzuelaEmma SepulvedaMatias Montes HuidobroGuillermo Gomez-PenaLuis Rafael Sanchez
An Overview of Hispanic Literature of the United Statesp. 1
Part I. The Literature of Exploration and Colonizationp. 33
The Account (excerpt)p. 35
Discovery of the Seven Cities of Cibola (excerpt)p. 39
La Florida (excerpt)p. 46
History of New Mexico (excerpt)p. 47
The Account (excerpt)p. 56
Lord, if the shepherd does not hear the sheep's complaint ...p. 58
Part II. Native Literaturep. 65
Chapter 1. Toward a Mestizo Culturep. 67
By This Divine Light ...p. 67
The Comanchesp. 69
Little Indian Ballad of Placida Romerop. 86
The Contest of Coffee and Corn Gruelp. 89
Chapter 2. Memories of Things Pastp. 92
Testimony Recounted by Jose Francisco Palomaresp. 92
A Glimpse of Domestic Life in 1827p. 94
Occurrences in Hispanic Californiap. 95
Letter to William Heath Davisp. 100
"The Old Guide": Surveyor, Scout, Hunter, Indian Fighter, Ranchman, Preacher: His Life in His Own Wordsp. 102
Chapter 3. Roots of Resistancep. 106
Personal Memoirs of John N. Seguin, from the Year 1834 to the Retreat of General Woll from the City of San Antonio 1842p. 106
Editorialsp. 109
The Californiosp. 111
Proclamationp. 112
Joaquin Murieta; The Ballad of Gregorio Cortezp. 115
The Real Billy the Kid (excerpt)p. 120
The Squatter and the Donp. 123
Chapter 4. Defending Cultural and Civil Rightsp. 130
A Protest Rally, 1901p. 130
Plea for the Spanish Languagep. 135
The Spanish Language: A Plea to the Hispanic Legislatorsp. 139
For Our Race: Preservation of Nationalism; We Should Workp. 142
Greetings and Aims (editorial)p. 144
Open Letter to a Libelistp. 145
Ignorance: The Cause of Racial Discrimination; The Evolution of Mexican-Americansp. 152
The Mexican Question in the Southwestp. 156
Step-Children of a Nationp. 162
The Mexico-Texan; The Hammon and the Beansp. 170
Chapter 5. Preserving Cultural Traditionsp. 176
The Courteous and Kindly Child and the "Good People" on the Underground Passagewayp. 176
The Phantoms at San Luis Reyp. 178
Samuel's Christmas Evep. 183
The First Cactus Blossomp. 184
Midwifep. 186
The Clown of San Cristobalp. 188
The Fiddler and the Angelitop. 191
Chapter 6. Militant Aestheticsp. 195
I Am Joaquinp. 195
Pilgrims in Aztlan (excerpt)p. 199
Must be the season of the witch; mis ojos hinchadosp. 205
Dear Rafep. 207
Puerto Rican Obituaryp. 212
Saliendo; Light after Blackoutp. 220
Los Vendidosp. 222
Chapter 7. Contemporary Reflections on Identityp. 231
The Truth about Them (excerpt)p. 231
Down These Mean Streets (excerpt)p. 234
A Lower East Side Poemp. 238
Uncle Claudiop. 241
My graduation speech; the africa in pedro morejonp. 244
La Guerap. 247
How to Tame a Wild Tonguep. 254
Above All, a Family Manp. 262
My Name Is Maria Christina; Anonymous Apartheidp. 266
Ending Poemp. 269
Our House in the Last World (excerpt)p. 271
Day of the Moon (excerpt)p. 280
Anything but Love (excerpt)p. 285
Chapter 8. Rites of Passagep. 291
Going Up Northp. 291
My Wonder Horsep. 296
First Communionp. 301
The Mothsp. 304
Amandap. 308
Volar; Maria Elena; Exilep. 314
Chapter 9. New Directions in Poetryp. 319
Day Laborer; Strange Cityp. 319
The Latest Latin Dance Craze; today is a day of great joy; Loisaida; energyp. 320
Beneath the Shadow of the Freewayp. 326
Legal Alien; Curanderap. 329
Mi abuelo; Wet Camp; Nanip. 331
Part III. The Literature of Immigrationp. 335
Chapter 10. Encounters with the Modern Cityp. 337
Two Views of Coney Island (excerpt)p. 337
New York from Within: One Aspect of Its Bohemian Lifep. 341
Fourth Missivep. 344
Lucas Guevara (excerpt)p. 348
A Song for Wall Street; The Secretp. 352
The Hispanic Barriop. 353
Tropics in Manhattan (excerpt)p. 356
Chapter 11. Negotiating New Realitiesp. 360
My Valisep. 360
The Factory (excerpt)p. 361
The Texas Sun (excerpt)p. 364
The Adventures of Don Chipote or, When Parrots Breast Feed (excerpt)p. 367
Easy Jobsp. 372
Memoirs of Bernardo Vega (excerpt)p. 374
The Dishwasher; The Deporteep. 379
A Jibaro's Lament; A Jibaro in New Yorkp. 385
Prayer to Home Reliefp. 387
Take the Dead Man Away (excerpt)p. 389
El Coyote/The Rebel (excerpt)p. 391
The Oxcart (excerpt)p. 394
Scribblesp. 399
The Night We Became People Againp. 403
El Super (excerpt)p. 411
Diary of an Undocumented Immigrant (excerpt)p. 414
No Facep. 417
Odyssey to the North (excerpt)p. 421
Chapter 12. Early Perspectives on Class and Genderp. 425
The Rebel Is a Girlp. 425
The Emotions of Maria Concepcionp. 429
How Poor Women Prostitute Themselvesp. 432
The Intelligent Womanp. 434
The Stenographerp. 436
I'm Going to Mexicop. 438
The Flapperp. 441
Women and Puerto Rican Identityp. 442
Chapter 13. Editorial Discontentp. 444
Speech Read by the Author on the Evening That the "Society of Workers" Celebrated the Twenty-Fourth Anniversary of Its Foundingp. 444
The Castilian Language and Puerto Ricop. 445
Editorial, August 7, 1927p. 447
How to Unite the Puerto Rican Colonyp. 448
Those Who Returnp. 451
Open Lettter to Don Luis Munoz Marin, President of the Puerto Rican Senate; United Statesp. 453
Chapter 14. Cultural (Dis) Juncturesp. 458
The Key West Rose (excerpt)p. 458
A Prayer in the Snowp. 462
Barrio Boy (excerpt)p. 465
Kipling and Ip. 470
Miracle on Eighth and Twelfthp. 473
Chronicles; Self-Portraitp. 475
The Herb Shopp. 476
The Argonautsp. 483
Chapter 15. Reflections on the Dislocated Selfp. 488
I Was My Own Route; Farewell in Welfare Islandp. 488
Horizons; Five-Pointed Starsp. 491
Mexico; Dark Romance; Marina Motherp. 493
Spared Angola; Going Under (excerpt)p. 496
The Greatest Performancep. 499
A Matrix Lightp. 503
Part IV. The Literature of Exilep. 509
Chapter 16. Struggle for Spanish-American Independencep. 511
On Behalf of Mankind: To All the Inhabitants of the Islands and the Vast Continent of Spanish Americap. 511
Mexicans: Signaled by Providence ...p. 517
Necessary Ideas for All Independent People of the Americas Who Want to Be Freep. 521
Essay on Slavery; Jicotencalp. 522
To the People of Cubap. 533
With All, for the Good of Allp. 536
Chapter 17. Hymn of the Exilep. 545
Hymn of the Exilep. 545
Always; Song of the Cuban Womenp. 549
To Spainp. 551
In Greenwoodp. 557
My Flagp. 558
Ode to October 10p. 560
A Statistic; Fragmentsp. 563
Hatueyp. 566
Simple Versesp. 575
Chapter 18. Against Tyrannyp. 578
Why Are You Still Here, Mexican Men? Fly to the Battlefieldp. 578
Revolutionary Hymnp. 580
Letterp. 583
The Underdogsp. 584
The Aching Soulp. 586
Bloodp. 588
Postcardp. 591
Emmaus; Stuck to the Wallp. 592
I Also Accuse! By Way of a Prologuep. 595
Chapter 19. Contemporary Exilesp. 599
The Cow on the Rooftop: A Story of the Cuban Revolutionp. 599
It is dark ...; This senor don Gringo ...p. 605
Before Night Falls (excerpt)p. 607
I'm Your Horse in the Nightp. 611
I Grew Accustomed; Here Am I Nowp. 614
Exile (excerpt)p. 616
Part V. Epilogue: Sin Fronteras, Beyond Boundariesp. 623
Danger Zone: Cultural Relations between Chicanos and Mexicans at the End of the Centuryp. 625
The Flying Busp. 631
List of Editors, Contributors, and Translatorsp. 639
Source Notesp. 643