Currents from the Dancing River: Contemporary Latino Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Overview

There is no one culture that can be described as "Latino." Yet the variegated presence of Spanish-speaking peoples in the United States - of immigrants and native born, of Native American, African, and European ancestry, of all skin colors, social classes, and religious and political affiliations, calling any number of places "home" - has contributed enormously to what we now know as American culture. Whereas other anthologies have focused either on a narrow grouping according to national origin or on a single ...
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Overview

There is no one culture that can be described as "Latino." Yet the variegated presence of Spanish-speaking peoples in the United States - of immigrants and native born, of Native American, African, and European ancestry, of all skin colors, social classes, and religious and political affiliations, calling any number of places "home" - has contributed enormously to what we now know as American culture. Whereas other anthologies have focused either on a narrow grouping according to national origin or on a single literary form, Currents from the Dancing River - bringing together 135 works whose main commonality is that of quality - is the first collection of such breadth and comprehensiveness. Its variety of style and content gives the most realistic possible portrait of what "Latino" might mean.

Celebrating the contributions of Spanish-speaking people to American culture, this stunning collection, written by some of the most accomplished contemporary writers along with some talented newcomers, offers a most genuine portrait and comprehensive view of what it means to be Latino.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This stand-out collection grants a unique perspective into the lives of Spanish-speaking people in the United States, primarily Cuban, Puerto Rican and Mexican Americans. The view is not a pretty one; throughout these pieces, the recurring themes are naturally enough of poverty and alienation. But if the vision is shared, the voices that describe it are distinctive. Including not only recognized authors such as Rudolfo Anaya, Cristina Garcia and Luis J. Rodriguez, this anthology offers a welcome introduction to lesser known writers as well. And if Gonzalez (Memory Fever: A Journey Beyond El Paso del Norte) could pehaps have been a bit more selective, the collection gives a real feel for the culture, and there are many pieces that are revealing. Luis Alberto Urrea recounts the events surrounding his father's death with a keen eye and savage irony, bearinging witness to a distinctly Mexican sensibility. ``Maya'' by Alma Luz Villanueva is a touching story of personal redemption that invokes a beautiful image from Spanish myth. Readers unfamiliar with the language may stumble on passages incorporating Spanish words, a problem that could easily have been remedied by notes. However, this remains a valuable work, underscoring the significant contribution Latino writers have made in recent years to American literature. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This comprehensive anthology gathers representations of the past 25 years of Latino literature in English. Latino culture here encompasses North American Spanish-speaking peoples of European, African, and Native American ancestry with roots in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Gonzalez, an author (e.g., Twilights and Chants, LJ 10/15/87) and an editor of numerous anthologies (most recently, After Aztlan, Broken Moon Pr., 1992), has selected 130 pieces by 70 Latino writers. Some of these writers, such as Rudolfo Anaya, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Gary Soto, and Alma Luz Villanueva, have well-established reputations. Others may be new to most readers. Unfortunately, this new anthology fails to be selective. The number of pieces is almost overwhelming, and a comprehensive introduction and glossary would have made it more useful. Still, this might be an appropriate introductory college text, and it certainly belongs in libraries with comprehensive multicultural North American literature collections.-Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinnville, Ore.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156001304
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 573
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 1.59 (d)

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