Currents from the Dancing River: Contemporary Latino Writing

Currents from the Dancing River: Contemporary Latino Writing

by Ray Gonzalez

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.
Alice Joyce
Beckoning readers with the pleasure of discovery is this wealth of emerging poets and fiction and nonfiction writers who illuminate the Latino experience in an array of modes. Excerpted novels and memoirs include celebrated works that doubtless will be familiar to some readers. But there is much more to be contemplated and savored--from the eloquent certainty of Rafael Campo's autobiographical notes to Luis Alberto Urrea's sadly compelling reminiscences of his father's death in Mexico, and Juan Felipe Herrera's Chicano posturing in the form of rhythmic, incandescent prose. Taken together, this abundant and profound collection of writing is deeply satisfying.

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
6.51(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.84(d)

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