Red Beans

Red Beans

by Victor Hernandez Cruz, Victor H. Cruz
     
 


Selected as one of the best books of 1991 by Publishers Weekly. A blend of cultures and races, with inspirations ranging from Caribbean musical rhythms to Castillan and Moorish influences. "Quirky and utterly lovely."--VLS¶"This vigorous bilingual Latino troubador's poems and essays are 'a dance on the edges'."--Library JournalSee more details below

Overview


Selected as one of the best books of 1991 by Publishers Weekly. A blend of cultures and races, with inspirations ranging from Caribbean musical rhythms to Castillan and Moorish influences. "Quirky and utterly lovely."--VLS¶"This vigorous bilingual Latino troubador's poems and essays are 'a dance on the edges'."--Library Journal

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The ``red beans'' of this collection of poems and prose are a pun on ``red be-ings''--characters who inhabit Hernandez Cruz's ( Snaps ) native Puerto Rico and hail from totally different cultures and ages. In the poet's inclusive imagination, Puerto Rican history connects with all history, so mythic figures live next door to Jibaro mountain folk. In the poem ``Mithra'' the appearance of the Persian god of light ``upon the beaches / Of Cabo Rojo'' transforms a multitude of bathers into the words of Chilam Balam--the Jaguar priest or scholar-sage of ancient Yucatec Indians. In his short essay on low riders--Latino versions of hot rods--Hernandez Cruz sees in customization a style of ``Gothic mixed with Toltecas.'' Although he writes in English, Hernandez Cruz spices his language with Spanish. ``National languages melt, sail into each other,'' he suggests in a provocative essay on Hispanic writing in the U.S., and through Latino presence in North America ``the syntax of English is being changed.'' Certainly this is true in his own work. The result is the successful expansion of a perspective born in the Caribbean into a world view of striking vitality and importance. (Oct.)
Library Journal
``Migration is the story of my body, it is the condition of this age,'' says Cruz (b. 1949 in Puerto Rico) in Red Beans , a collection of his poems and story-essays that explore the difficult marriage between ``Northern Americana'' and the ``Hispano-Criollo-Caribbean'' culture. With a hybrid accent as spicy as salsa, this energetic poet advocates a ``society of the Americas,'' an enriched ``racial and spiritual mixing'' of diverse cultural values in which ``the popular muse belongs to everybody.'' (``The Caribbean is a place of great convergence,'' he says.) Using the ``person-to-person'' voice of the campesino (it's been called ``Spanglish''), Cruz discusses Old San Juan, Columbus, low riders, Hispanic-American writers, and colorful Puerto Rican people. Like a traveler discovering a New World, ``flavorful and multi-meaningful,'' this vigorous bilingual Latino troubadour's poems and essays are ``a dance on the edges.''--Frank Allen, SUNY at Cobleskill

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780918273918
Publisher:
Coffee House Press
Publication date:
07/01/1991
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.94(w) x 8.83(h) x 0.47(d)

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