Cover image for Literature of Latin America
Literature of Latin America
Ocasio, Rafael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xix, 230 pages; 24 cm.
Writing about the Americas : from the colonial period to the nineteenth century -- Latin America's twentieth-century literature : historical movements and landscapes -- The coming of age of modern Latin American literature : The "boom" -- Women writers : new perspectives on Latin America -- Writing about cultural, ethnic, and religious identities.
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PQ7081 .O33 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Many readers have already discovered the magic of Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and the allure of Allende's The House of the Spirits . By examining such popular works and introducing a host of lesser-known Latin American writers and their fiction, this volume helps readers navigate the rich and varied culture at the heart of Latin American literature. Going beyond the usual literary criticism, this book considers works of Latin American literature not only in terms of literary merit, but also with regard to their place in the literary heritage. It also examines the cultural messages we can learn from both historic and contemporary works.

This volume, taken as a whole, provides a wealth of information with the depth and authority demanded for serious research. At the same time, the book is structured with chronological and topical organization, so that each chapter can be read and enjoyed independently. The analysis is written with clarity and accessibility for the nonspecialists, and all terms are defined, to help students and their teachers better appreciate the Latin American writers, their novels, and the cultures that shaped them. Ten teachers were consulted on the content to ensure that the works and authors covered met student needs and interests. A timeline of historical events, and further suggested readings lend further assistance to readers who want to research and fully understand the historical and cultural significance behind these literary works.

Author Notes

RAFAEL OCASIO is Professor of Spanish at Agnes Scott College. His areas of expertise encompass Latin American literature as well as Afro-Cuban culture.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

A more apt title for this book would be "Spanish American Narrative in Translation." Ocasio (Agnes Scott College) delves into the matter of translations (citing many that are decades old and not widely available in updated, critical editions) and focuses almost exclusively on narrative, at the expense of drama, poetry, and essay--important Spanish American genres. What results is a detailed but uneven treatment of the "literature of Latin America." Chapter organization is relatively traditional and in places contradictory--e.g., the author includes Gomez de Avellaneda and Barnet in a section about slavery and not in sections about women writers and testimonios, respectively. Because he chooses to treat most of the women writers or those who deal with cultural, ethnic, and religious identities in two separate chapters that do not follow his otherwise chronological approach, he replicates the grand master narrative history that many scholars and writers of the post-boom period have rejected. Ocasio's grouping and extensive coverage of certain authors and not others perpetuates a limited view of an already contested canon. Though the author approaches his texts with obvious knowledge and good intentions, an intertextual approach, rather than a gendered, chronological one, might serve young scholars better. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Lower-/upper-division undergraduates; general readers. K. C. Dworkin Carnegie Mellon University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
1 Writing about the Americas: From the Colonial Period to the Nineteenth Centuryp. 1
2 Latin America's Twentieth-Century Literature: Historical Movements and Landscapesp. 45
3 The Coming of Age of Modern Latin American Literature: The Boomp. 89
4 Women Writers: New Perspectives on Latin Americap. 145
5 Writing about Cultural, Ethnic, and Religious Identitiesp. 189
Chronology of Historic Events in Latin American Culturep. 219
Indexp. 225