Cover image for Latin American literature and its times
Latin American literature and its times
Moss, Joyce, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Detroit : Gale Group, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxxix, 562 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm.
"This accessible and useful source is the first of a 12-volume series focusing on major fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from various geographic areas of the world. It uniquely combines literary and historical information, arranged in alphabetical order by the title of the work. Each of the 50 entries includes an introduction that discusses the work by genre, place, and period; a description of its social and political background; a summary of plot or contents; a description of the social, political, or literary events of its author's life and the way they have influenced the plot of contents of the work; and a list of sources and further readings. The remaining 11 volumes will cover the literatures of Africa, Asia, modern england and Ireland, Spain and Portugal, France, the Middle East, Italy, India, and Jewish literature. This series will be a welcome addition to public and academic libraries. It will be most useful to high school students and undergraduates."--"Outstanding reference sources 2000", American Libraries, May 2000. Comp. by the Reference Sources Committee, RUSA, ALA.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PQ7081 .M625 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



This volume focuses on major fiction, poetry and non-fiction from Latin America. Organized by title, it discusses 50 works through detailed essays.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Latin American Literature and Its Times is the first volume of the new Gale series, World Literature and Its Times. The series was designed to help high-school and undergraduate students make connections between literature and history or society. The series will consist of 12 volumes to be released in intervals of six months; proposed volumes include African, French, Asian, Modern British and Irish, Spanish and Portuguese, Middle Eastern, Jewish, and Italian literature, and the literature of India. Works are selected for inclusion by scholars based upon frequency of study, ties to significant events, or enduring appeal to readers, either in or outside the cultures that produced them. The first volume of the series is an impressive beginning. Classic as well as contemporary writings are included; all are available in English. All 50 works span a variety of genres and countries (including the U.S.) as well as historical periods. The earliest work is A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, by Friar Bartolomede las Casas, written in 1542; the most recent, Santa Evita, by Thomas Eloy Martinez, was published in Spanish in 1995 and in English in 1996. Arranged alphabetically by title of work, the signed entries consist of five parts: an introduction to the work, including a synopsis and its relation to the author's life; a discussion of events in history at the time the work is set; a detailed discussion of the work itself that includes plot, sources used by the author, and its relation to other writings; a description of the history of the time the work was written; and, finally, a list of sources cited in the entry and a list of further readings. The discussion of Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits begins with mention of her relation to ousted Chilean president, Salvador Allende, who becomes a fictional president in her novel. The article describes the lives of Chilean people from 1910 to 1973, including miners and farm workers who fled to large cities in search of work, then describes the various political movements, such as the "New Song Movement," which figures in the story. Sidebars cover Pablo Neruda's bid for the presidency and the U.S. involvement in the violent coup that ousted the socialist government in 1973. The discussion of the novel includes comparisons with the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and a list of the fictional names of characters and their counterparts in Isabel Allende's life. Finally, there is a summary of the novel's critical reception. Many entries also include time lines, anecdotes, and illustrations. Time lines precede the text and are divided into topics such as "Conquest," "Slavery," "Human Rights," and "Dictatorships." They not only list historical events but also note the literary works that discuss or were influenced by each event. There are a subject index and two tables of contents (title and author); a chronological table of contents would have been a helpful addition. Recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries.

Library Journal Review

The first volume in a series treating fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction from around the world, this reference book covers 50 major works from Spanish-speaking Latin America, Brazil, and Latino writers in the United States. These works were selected by university professors, with the entries contributed by professional writers and academics. While a few older works are included, like those by Sor Juana In‚s de la Cruz and Friar Bartolom‚ de las Casas, the majority are from this century, by authors such as Pablo Neruda, Julia Alvarez, and Octavio Paz. Entries highlight how the social and political events of the time influenced the literature and how the literature illuminates history. Each contributor summarizes the work and relates its sources, context, and reception; citations for further reading are also provided. Detailed author biographies and literary criticism are beyond the scope of the series. Instead, this book will be helpful in history courses that use literary sources, as background reading in literature courses, and for recreational readers seeking a more informed read. Recommended for academic and public libraries.--Anna Youssefi, Univ. of Houston Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-This first book in a projected 12-volume series devoted to the literature of different geographic regions highlights Latin American literature and Latino works "produced in the United States." Arrangement is alphabetical by title. Lengthy, informative essays discuss individual poems and fiction and nonfiction titles with a focus on the political, economical, and social contexts in which the pieces were written. The selections range from Pablo Neruda's book of poetry The Heights of Macchu Picchu, written in 1943 when the poet visited the Peruvian ruins, to Ariel Dorfman's play Death and the Maiden, set in 1990 in a country implied to be Chile, to the often-assigned One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garc'a M rquez. Sidebars provide excerpts from the literary works, quotations, and additional information. Each essay concludes with a list "For More Information." Black-and-white photographs, movie stills, and reproductions are sprinkled throughout. There is very little overlap between this volume and its companion set, Literature and its Times (Gale, 1997). The only drawback to Latin American Literature is that its content is limited to 50 works.-Reina Huerta, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The first in a promised 12-volume set from Gale, "World Literature and Its Times," this series will take a multidisciplinary approach to world literature, studying both fiction and nonfiction in historical context. Comparable works like Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature, ed. by Verity Smith (CH, Oct'97), focus on authors and treat the subject with greater breadth. Latin American Literature focuses on specific stories, novels, plays, and essays in greater depth. Fifty works are discussed, ranging in date from the European conquest to indigenous peoples' struggles of the 1980s. The works included are limited to those currently available in English. The editors define Latin American literature liberally; they include a good representation of American Latino authors. Each essay consists of a discussion of the historical context in which the work is set and written, an analysis of the work and how it reflects that history, and information on initial reviews. Articles are well illustrated, readable, and have bibliographies. A series of time lines place works within major historical themes. Recommended for general readers and undergraduates. J. H. Pollitz; St. Ambrose University