"Compelling and enlightening" (Booklist), The Latino Reader covers nearly five centuries of an important American literary tradition in this groundbreaking anthology featuring a wide range of Latino voices.
"Makes evident that works in Spanish have always been with us, helping to define and move American culture forward."—Nicolás Kanellos, founder and director of Arte Público Press
With a broad and intriguing range of Latino voices and perspectives, from Cabeza de Vaca's mid-sixteenth-century writings to contemporary works from Cristina García and Sandra Cisneros, Harold Augenbraum and Margarite Fernández Olmos have collected history, memoirs, letters, essays, fiction, poetry, and drama into this essential anthology.
Featuring work by writers not usually associated with the Latino tradition, notably poems by William Carlos Williams and fiction by John Rechy, The Latino Reader serves to highlight the substantial contribution this culture has made to American literature.
About the Author
Harold Augenbraum, the executive director of the National Book Foundation, is a noted author, editor, and translator. His works include the anthologies Growing Up Latino and Lengua Fresca, which were coedited with Ilan Stavans.
"Anthologies of Latino literature abound, and rightly so, but most focus on contemporary authors. Augenbraum and Olmos dig deeper, tracing the roots of this vibrant literary tradition all the way back to the mid-sixteenth century. They have selected strikingly effective works of history, memoirs, letters, essays, poetry, drama, and fiction, including texts translated into English for the first time, creating a broad range of voices and perspectives. The volume begins with Alva Nunez Cabeza de Vaca's Account, a chronicle of a disastrous 1527 expedition in the Southwest that is emblematic of all encounters between Spanish conquistadores and the indigenous peoples of the Americas. This powerful piece serves as the anthology's overture, and establishes Latino literature's key cultural and political themes. Other compelling and enlightening offerings include works by William Carlos Williams, a poet whose Puerto Rican heritage has rarely been considered integral to his poetic innovations; novelist John Rechy; Cleofas Jaramillo, a descendent of hispano pioneers; and a host of remarkable Latino writers prominent in decades past but overlooked in recent compilations." Booklist, ALA —