Cover image for Latino literature in America
Latino literature in America
Kevane, Bridget A., 1963-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
149 pages ; 25 cm.
Reading Level:
1260 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS153.H56 K48 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



There is growing awareness of the tremendous impact Latino writers have had on the recent literary scene, yet not all readers have the background to fully appreciate the merits and meanings of works like "House on Mango Street," "Line of the Sun," "Bless Me Ultima," and "In the Time of Butterflies." Offering analysis of their most important, popular, and frequently assigned fictional works, this book surveys the contributions of eight notable Latino writers: Julia Alvarez, Rodolfo Anaya, Sandra Cisneros, Junot Diaz, Christina Garia, Oscar Hijuelos, Ortiz Cofer, and Ernesto Quinonez.

Each chapter gives biographical background on the author and clear literary analysis of the selected works, including a concise plot synopsis. Delving into the question of cultural identity, each work is carefully examined not only in terms of its literary components, but also with regard to the cultural background and historical context. This book illuminates such themes as acculturation, generational differences, immigration, assimilation, and exile. Language, religion, and gender issues are explored against the cultural backdrop, along with the social impact of such historical events as Operation Bootstrap in Puerto Rico, the early days of Castro's Cuba, and the Trujillo Dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. Students and teachers will find their reading experiences of U.S. Latino works enriched with the literary and cultural perspectives offered here. A list of additional suggested reading is included.

Author Notes

BRIDGET KEVANE is Associate Professor of Spanish at Montana State University, Bozeman.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

These two volumes both treat Latino (or Hispanic) literature in the United States. Edited by Kevane (Spanish, Montana State Univ., Bozeman; coeditor, Latina Self-Portraits), Latino Literature in America features eight prominent authors-Julia Alvarez, Rudolfo Anaya, Sandra Cisneros, Junot Diaz, Oscar Hijuelos, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Cristina Garcia, and Ernesto Quinonez-who were each chosen to represent a different Latino culture. Excellent biographical and critical information is provided, but the omission of many other Latino authors diminishes the book's value as an overview of Latino literature in the United States. Certainly, more thorough works on Latino authors are available (e.g., Latino and Latina Writers, edited by Alan West-Duran, and Frances Ann Day's Latina and Latino Voices in Literature). Kevane's ambition to reflect cultural concerns through the literature of specific locales is not unworthy, but the possibilities go way beyond the limited number of examples here. Recommended as a resource on these authors only, not as an overview or anthology of Latino literature. In contrast, Hispanic Literature of the United States is as an excellent source on the history of Hispanic literature in the United States. The prolific Kanellos (e.g., Hispanic-American Literature; The Hispanic American Almanac) connects historical events in the Americas with social trends and movements affecting Hispanics and Hispanic literature. In addition, a detailed chronology lists key events in Hispanic literature and culture. As a result, readers come to understand the political and social arenas in which Hispanic writers have had to contend. Kanellos also offers a "Who's Who of Hispanic Authors of the United States," which features brief biographies of over 160 authors of the 19th and 20th centuries, and devotes a large section to publishing history and current trends. A canon of 100 essential literary works by Hispanic authors completes this thorough, well-documented resource. There are a few disappointing omissions, e.g., only drama gets its own chapter, though the preface states that poetry and the novel will also be given independent treatment. As a whole, however, this work does not fail to deliver vital information. This text will serve as a good starting point for the study of Hispanic literature in most academic libraries and will be a standard reference tool in large public libraries and any public library with much patronage from the Latino community.-Nedra Crowe-Evers, Sacramento P.L., CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
1 The Fiction of Julia Alvarez: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (1992) and In the Time of the Butterflies (1995)p. 15
2 The Fiction of Rudolfo Anaya: Bless Me, Ultima (1972)p. 33
3 The Fiction of Sandra Cisneros: The House on Mango Street (1984) and Woman Hollering Creek (1991)p. 47
4 The Fiction of Junot Diaz: Drown (1996)p. 71
5 The Fiction of Cristina Garcia: Dreaming in Cuban (1992) and The Aguero Sisters (1997)p. 85
6 The Fiction of Oscar Hijuelos: The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (1989)p. 105
7 The Fiction of Judith Ortiz Cofer: The Line of the Sun (1989)p. 117
8 The Fiction of Ernesto Quinonez: Bodega Dreams (2000)p. 131
Selected Bibliographyp. 143
Indexp. 147