Hispanic-American Writers


Hispanic-American literature is today more prominent and influential than ever before. This new edition of Hispanic-American Writers offers critical perspectives on some of the most important writers of recent years, such as Junot Diaz, Pat Mora, Oscar Hijuelos, and Rudolfo Anaya.
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Hispanic-American literature is today more prominent and influential than ever before. This new edition of Hispanic-American Writers offers critical perspectives on some of the most important writers of recent years, such as Junot Diaz, Pat Mora, Oscar Hijuelos, and Rudolfo Anaya.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

This volume focuses on recent writers to emerge in this field, including Junot Díaz, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Literature. In his introduction, Bloom restates his well-known argument that literature must be evaluated by aesthetic standards, and not by the sociopolitical or ethnic viewpoint it represents. Aesthetics and the use of language are indeed among the themes addressed here. Each scholar also addresses the question of how Latino writers reflect and shape their cultural identities in fiction. Two essays focus particularly on the construction of Afro-Hispanic identity, making valuable contributions to the recognition of racial diversity within Latino cultures. The language is elevated, and the essayists make extensive use of academic jargon. Moreover, passages from Spanish are not translated into English, which requires readers to have a solid knowledge of both languages. The book also contains contributor biographies. It will be most helpful to high school libraries serving students in advanced-placement literature courses, academic libraries, and public libraries with extensive research collections.-Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791096239
  • Publisher: Chelsea House Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Series: Modern Critical Views Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 187
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Harold Bloom
Harold Bloom
One of our most popular, respected, and controversial literary critics, Yale University professor Harold Bloom’s books – about, variously, Shakespeare, the Bible, and the classic literature – are as erudite as they are accessible.


"Authentic literature doesn't divide us," the scholar and literary critic Harold Bloom once said. "It addresses itself to the solitary individual or consciousness." Revered and sometimes reviled as a champion of the Western canon, Bloom insists on the importance of reading authors such as Shakespeare, Milton, and Chaucer -- not because they transmit certain approved cultural values, but because they transcend the limits of culture, and thus enlarge rather than constrict our sense of what it means to be human. As Bloom explained in an interview, "Shakespeare is the true multicultural author. He exists in all languages. He is put on the stage everywhere. Everyone feels that they are represented by him on the stage."

Bloom began his career by tackling the formidable legacy of T.S. Eliot, who had dismissed the English Romantic poets as undisciplined nature-worshippers. Bloom construed the Romantic poets' visions of immortality as rebellions against nature, and argued that an essentially Romantic imagination was still at work in the best modernist poets.

Having restored the Romantics to critical respectability, Bloom advanced a more general theory of poetry. His now-famous The Anxiety of Influence argued that any strong poem is a creative "misreading" of the poet's predecessor. The book raised, as the poet John Hollander wrote, "profound questions about... how the prior visions of other poems are, for a true poet, as powerful as his own dreams and as formative as his domestic childhood." In addition to developing this theory, Bloom wrote several books on sacred texts. In The Book of J, he suggested that some of the oldest parts of the Bible were written by a woman.

The Book of J was a bestseller, but it was the 1994 publication of The Western Canon that made the critic-scholar a household name. In it, Bloom decried what he called the "School of Resentment" and the use of political correctness as a basis for judging works of literature. His defense of the threatened canon formed, according to The New York Times, a "passionate demonstration of why some writers have triumphantly escaped the oblivion in which time buries almost all human effort."

Bloom placed Shakespeare along with Dante at the center of the Western canon, and he made another defense of Shakespeare's centrality with Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, an illuminating study of Shakespeare's plays. How to Read and Why (2000) revisited Shakespeare and other writers in the Bloom pantheon, and described the act of reading as both a spiritual exercise and an aesthetic pleasure.

Recently, Bloom took up another controversial stance when he attacked Harry Potter in an essay for The Wall Street Journal. His 2001 book Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages advanced an alternative to contemporary children's lit, with a collection of classic works of literature "worthy of rereading" by people of all ages.

The poet and editor David Lehman said that "while there are some critics who are known for a certain subtlety and a certain judiciousness, there are other critics... who radiate ferocious passion." Harold Bloom is a ferociously passionate reader for whom literary criticism is, as he puts it, "the art of making what is implicit in the text as finely explicit as possible."

Good To Know

Bloom earned his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1955 and was hired as a Yale faculty member that same year. In 1965, at the age of 35, he became one of the youngest scholars in Yale history to be appointed full professor in the department of English. He is now Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale and Berg Visiting Professor of English at New York University.

Though some conservative commentators embraced Bloom's canon as a return to traditional moral values, Bloom, who once styled himself "a Truman Democrat," dismisses attempts by both left- and right-wingers to politicize literature. "To read in the service of any ideology is not, in my judgment, to read at all," he told a New York Times interviewer.

His great affinity for Shakespeare has put Bloom in the unlikely position of stage actor on occasion; he has played his "literary hero," port-loving raconteur Sir John Falstaff, in three productions.

Bloom is married to Jeanne, a retired school psychologist whom he met while a junior faculty member at Yale in the 1950s. They have two sons.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Harold Irving Bloom (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York and New Haven, Connecticut
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 11, 1930
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Cornell University, 1951; Ph.D., Yale University, 1955

Table of Contents

Editor's Note vii

Introduction Harold Bloom 1

Chicano Theater: Editing the Origin Myth Juan Bruce-Novoa 3

A White Man's Fantasies: Orientalism in Rudolfo Anaya's A Chicano in China Jeffrey Cass 17

The Impact of Spanish-American Literature in Translation on U.S. Latino Literature Juliana de Zavalia 29

Of Brown Buffaloes, Cockroaches and Others: Mestizaje North and South of the Rio Bravo Silvia Spitta 49

Desenmascarando a Ysrael: The Disfigured Face as Symbol of Identity in Three Latino Texts Anne Connor 63

Martha K. Cobb and the Shaping of Afro-Hispanic Literary Criticism Miriam DeCosta-Willis 75

Oscar Hijuelos: "Eternal Homesickness" and the Music of Memory Richard F. Patteson 89

Many Ways to Remember: Layered Time in Mora's House of Houses B. Marie Christian 99

Living "In Between": The Identification of Afro-Latino/a Literature Fiona Mills 111

Violence, Masculinity, and Upward Mobility in the Dominican Diaspora: Junot Diaz, the Media, and Drown Jason Frydman 133

Recovering and Re-constructing Early Twentieth-Century Hispanic Immigrant Print Culture in the U.S. Nicolas Kanellos 145

Chronology 161

Contributors 167

Bibliography 169

Acknowledgments 177

Index 179

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