In Other Words: Literature by Latinas of the United States

In Other Words: Literature by Latinas of the United States

In Other Words: Literature by Latinas of the United States

In Other Words: Literature by Latinas of the United States

Synopsis

This collection of fiction, poetry, drama and essays is arranged by genre. While most of the pieces are in English, some are in Spanish, and some are presented bilingually.

Excerpt

To be a contemporary Latina writer of the United States implies resistance to cultural hegemony. While it is true that the European roots of contemporary Latino literature date back to the sixteenth-century Spanish colony in what today comprises the American Southwest, Florida and California—and the Native American roots date even further back—the flowering of contemporary Latino literature is intertwined with the political repercussions of the civil rights movements of the 1960s and early 1970s. This literature has evolved out of the particular historical situations of an oppressed minority whose writers perceive themselves as socially committed to the elimination of the colonial status of their people. Thus, the content of Latino literature is closely identified with a discourse of contestation and self-definition. In addition, women writers also challenge the patriarchal traditions of their own culture and, thereby, create an even more complex literature of multiple dimensions. Crossing boundaries has become the dominant metaphor for both the content and the style of contemporary Latino literature, with its emphasis on individual and group identity.

By no means is this literature homogeneous. The Chicana writer from Los Angeles, the Puerto Rican essayist from Oakland, the CubanAmerican playwright from New York, the Mexican-American short story writer from Texas, the Chilean-American poet from Boston, the Cuban-American novelist from Southern California and the ChicanaGreek poet from San Antonio all add their individual contributions to the growing body of literature identifiable as Latino literature of the United States, a literature with a long, albeit little known tradition, with roots in the Hispanic Southwest and even in the literary traditions of the countries of origin of many of these writers.

Beginning in the early nineteenth century, Spanish-language print media became an important means of creating community identity both . . .

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