Fantasmas: Supernatural Stories by Mexican American Writers

Fantasmas: Supernatural Stories by Mexican American Writers

by Rob Johnson, Kathleen Alcala
     
 

Fiction. Latino/Latina Studies. In Mexico, cuentos de fantasma are a popular form of literature that combines fantasy, folktales, and pulp fiction. FANTASMAS is the first selection of such stories, and it features nineteen new stories by well-known and emerging Mexican American authors. In her introduction, Kathleen Alcalá distinguishes these stories from

Overview

Fiction. Latino/Latina Studies. In Mexico, cuentos de fantasma are a popular form of literature that combines fantasy, folktales, and pulp fiction. FANTASMAS is the first selection of such stories, and it features nineteen new stories by well-known and emerging Mexican American authors. In her introduction, Kathleen Alcalá distinguishes these stories from those by Latin American magical realists, and discusses how a new generation of Mexican American writers has infused the folktales of the past with a sense of irony, humor, and belief. Other contributors include Luna Calderón, Brandt Jesús Cooper, Rubén Degollado, Elena Díaz Bj"rkquist, Guadalupe García Montaño, Lucrecia Guerrero, Stephen D. Gutiérrez, Gary G. Hernández, Kelley Jácquez, Karleen Pendleton Jiménez, Rob Johnson, Jacquie Moody, Daniel A. Olivas, Torie Olson, Stephanie R. Reyes, David Rice, René Saldaña, Jr., Carmen Tafolla, and Elva Treviño Hart.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These two works are similar in origin but different in genre. Bierhorst's features over 100 stories in a more traditional style from Mexico, Central America, the American Southwest, and South America. Many read like traditional European fairy tales, which should not be surprising since they reflect a strong Spanish Colonial influence, even though they have sprouted from the seedbed of indigenous folklore. The first part of this book contains Aztec and Inca legends but not very ancient ones; most date from the time just prior to or during the Conquest. The second part of the book features dynamic tales reflecting all short story or folktale genres: comic, anecdotal, moral, heroic, and religious. The tales are short and pithy and often pack a surprise punch line, making for extremely interesting reading. Fantasmas is a collection of stories by 19 well-known or emerging Mexican American writers whose inspirations seep from the cuento de fantasmas literally "ghost stories" but more a unique blend of folklore and faith, superstition and the supernatural. These tales and urban legends are modern, with a nod make that a bow to current pop culture's fascination with horror and the paranormal. They run the gamut from the grotesque ("Cantinflas," "Lilith's Dance") to those displaying gracia, that elusive, heart-lightening quality that divides art from craft ("Beyond Eternity," "Michelle's Miracle"). Still others, such as "The Gift," would make excellent X-Files material, although a strong moral is attached. Fascinating but disturbing, these tales may reflect the authors' need to purge themselves of personal or cultural fears. Public library patrons will enjoy the richness of the folktales and the sheer thrills transmitted by the fantasmas. And academic library patrons will have materials for cultural and ethnic studies now compiled into two convenient anthologies. Recommended for both types of libraries. Nedra C. Evers, Sacramento P.L. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781931010023
Publisher:
Bilingual Review/Press
Publication date:
10/28/2001
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

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