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Once an independent nation, Texas has always been proud of its unique culture. The literature of the Lone Star State has long attracted local, regional, and national audiences and critics, yet the state's Mexican American voices have yet to receive the attention they deserve.
Hecho en Tejas is a historic anthology that establishes the canon of Mexican American literature in Texas. With close to one hundred selections chosen, the book reaches back to the sixteenth-century exploration narrative of Texas's first Spanish-speaking writer, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca. It features prose by Américo Paredes and Jovita Gonzalez, Rolando Hinojosa and Tomás Rivera, Estela Trambley Portillo, and Sandra Cisneros. Among the poets included in the anthology are Ricardo Sánchez, Carmen Tafolla, Angela de Hoyos, and Abelardo "Lalo" Delgado. Hecho en Tejas also includes corridos from the turn of the century and verses sung by music legends such as Lydia Mendoza and Santiago Jimenez, Sr., Freddy Fender, and Selena. In addition to these established names, already known across the United States, Hecho en Tejas introduces such younger writers as Christine Granados, Erasmo Guerra, and Tonantzin Canestaro-Garcia, the famous Tejano authors of tomorrow.
In assembling this canonic reader, Dagoberto Gilb has created more than an anthology. Read cover to cover, Hecho en Tejas becomes not only a literary showcase, but also a cultural and historical narrative both for those familiar with Texas Mexicans and for outsiders. Hecho en Tejas is a mosaic portrait of the community, the land and its history, its people's sorrows and joys, anger and humor and pride, what has been assimilated and what will not be.
Posted April 29, 2009
I was first introduced to this anthology while taking a creative writing class at Texas A&M University. It was a required text for the class which led me to believe I would find no use for it outside of class discussion. I was completely wrong in this assumption. Once I read the introduction by the editor Dagoberto Gilb, I knew it was not your average textbook. In the introduction Gilb declares his desire for Hecho en Tejas to be a literary celebration of Texas' hispanic roots; as a formal announcement proclaiming, " We have been here, we are still here." He finishes by expressing his hope that Hecho en Tejas will destroy the ignorance and assumptions surrounding the hispanic history of Texas. Having read several of the works in this anthology, I believe that Hecho en Tejas serves this purpose as Gilb intended. It is a compilation of works revealing the diverse history of Texas through the unique and honest perspectives of its authors. It is a joy to read, and needless to say I will never sell this 'textbook' back.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 12, 2008
While I despise being told what to read and when to read it for college English, This was the best choice of a mandatory read because now I pick up the book to read what others of my culture write like. This book opened my eyes to my culture and taught me more then I could learn from any other book I have ever had to read about other people telling me about m culture. Here in this book it was people from culture telling me their experiences or others experiences and how they handled them. This collection of works showed me that you have to be proud of your heritage and to write what you know because that creates some of the best stories and writings. That writing from experience can only bring out the best in a person and can only help a person to grow.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.