The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity

Overview

?The stereotype spells death to the imagination by shrinking all possibilities to one. Generalizations encourage us to stop considering what can be.?
?from the Introduction

The sheer number of different ethnic groups and cultures in the United States makes it tempting to classify them according to broad stereotypes, ignoring their unique and changing identities. Because of their growing diversity within the United States, Latinas and Latinos face this problem in their everyday lives. With cultural roots in ...

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Overview

“The stereotype spells death to the imagination by shrinking all possibilities to one. Generalizations encourage us to stop considering what can be.”
—from the Introduction

The sheer number of different ethnic groups and cultures in the United States makes it tempting to classify them according to broad stereotypes, ignoring their unique and changing identities. Because of their growing diversity within the United States, Latinas and Latinos face this problem in their everyday lives. With cultural roots in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, or a variety of other locales, Hispanic-origin people in the United States are too often consigned to a single category. With this book Blas Falconer and Lorraine M. López set out to change this.

The Other Latin@ is a diverse collection of essays written by some of the best emerging and established contemporary writers of Latin origin to help answer the question: How can we treat U.S. Latina and Latino literature as a definable whole while acknowledging the many shifting identities within their cultures? By telling their own stories, these authors illuminate the richness of their cultural backgrounds while adding a unique perspective to Latina and Latino literature.

This book sheds light on the dangers of abandoning identity by accepting cultural stereotypes and ignoring diversity within diversity. These contributors caution against judging literature based on the race of the author and lament the use of the term Hispanic to erase individuality. Honestly addressing difficult issues, this book will greatly contribute to a better understanding of Latina and Latino literature and identity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“With this collection of complex and articulate essays, Lorraine López and Blas Falconer dare to unpack what mainstream American media and culture have been forcing into a single neat package for decades: Latino. A timely manifesto!” —Rigoberto González, editor of Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing

Güau! Finally, here comes an assemblage of personal viewpoints that isn't afraid to unsettle the complacent, reductionist picture of who Latinos are, or better, what ‘lazy thinking’ wants us to be. Maybe The Other Latin@ will foster a new era, bringing us out of the ghetto that is our own mind. Anigüey, it isn’t an exaggeration to say that I’ve been waiting for this book for my entire life (and even longer). That’s because I live—I let myself live—in the ‘o’ of other. Thanks to Falconer and López, now that ‘o’ might also stand for openness.” —Ilan Stavans, author of On Borrowed Words: A Memoir of Language and general editor of The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature
 
“An essential and vibrant collection of essays that explore the plurality as well as the differences found in Latino voices and their journeys into their past.” —Marjorie Agosín, author of Of Earth and Sea: A Chilean Memoir

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816528677
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Series: Camino del Sol Series
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 1,528,565
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lorraine M. López is an associate professor of English at Vanderbilt University. She works as the associate editor of the Afro-Hispanic Review, a bilingual journal of literature and culture. She is the author of several books, including The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters and Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories.

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Table of Contents

Foreword William Luis vii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction Blas Falconer Lorraine M. López 1

1 The Long Road Home Lisa D. Chávez 9

2 Latina Enough Stephanie Elizondo Griest 15

3 Love, Prejudice, and Latinidad Carla Trujillo 21

4 Coyotes Alex Espinoza 27

5 A Latinidad Litmus Test Teresa Dovalpage 33

6 When We Were Spanish Lorraine M. Lopez 39

7 My Word Hunger Judith Ortiz Cofer 47

8 Jotonovela Erasmo Guerra 53

9 Island of Bones Joy Castro 61

10 Aesthetics and Theme: Time and Place(with an afterword on Polemics) Steven Cordova 69

11 What We Write About When We Write About Gangs Daniel Chacón 75

12 Latte No! Notes on a (Late) Latino Awakening Urayoan Noel 85

13"I Don't Write About Cuba" Helena Mesa 91

14 The Child in the House Gina Franco 99

15 A Meditation on the Experience and Aesthetics ou the Other Rican Bias Falconer 107

16 Curative Poetics Maria Melendez 113

17 Chola de los Hinterlands Carmen Giménez Smith 119

18 My Emily Gore: Freudian Obsessions, Biculturalism, andAutobiographical Poetry Peter Ramos 123

19 Fringe Poetics Gabe Gomez 137

20 La Página Roja Lucha Corpi 137

21 Afterword William Luis 145

Bibliography 155

About the Contributors 157

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