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Barrios and Borderlands: Cultures of Latinos and Latinas in the United States written by Denis L Heyck L

 

Barrios and Borderlands: Cultures of Latinos and Latinas in the United States written by Denis L Heyck L

Overview:

Barrios and Borderlands paints a portrait of the complex and fascinating mixture of Latino cultures in the United States today. This unique anthology embraces a broad range of genres, disciplines and ethnicities. It highlights the diversity of Latino cultural expressions and points out the distinctive features of the three major Latino populations: Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban.

The book is organized around six central cultural themes: family, religion, community, the arts, (im)migration and exile, and cultural identity. Each chapter focuses on a particular theme by presenting readings from a variety of genres, including short stories, poems, essays, excerpts from novels, a play, photographs, even a few songs and recipes. These materials allow readers to approach Latino cultures from a multiplicity of perspectives.

The anthology also presents interviews and oral histories of Latinos from diverse walks of life and geographic regions. A migrant worker from the orange groves of Florida, an ethnomusicologist from northern New Mexico, a community organizer in the maquiladoras that line the border, a refugee from Central America, a muralist from Los Angeles, a museum director from Chicago, and a Spanish-language television executive from Chile--these are some of the people whose stories enrich the anthology. Their voices provide authenticity, immediacy, drama and inspiration. The interviews draw readers into the subject in an intensely personal way and weave together the various thematic strands of the book.

Barrios and Borderlands tells the valuable story of Latino cultures in this country and integratesthat story into the larger framework of United States cultural history. Avoiding a chronological approach, it offers a dynamic and integrated way to look at Latino cultures which allows readers to draw comparisons with mainstream culture and with their own personal experiences. The book includes an introduction and a timeline reviewing the history of Latinos in the United States as well as a glossary of Spanish terms.

Synopsis:

Barrios and Borderlands paints a portrait of the complex and fascinating mixture of Latino cultures in the United States today. This unique anthology embraces a broad range of genres, disciplines and ethnicities. It highlights the diversity of Latino cultural expressions and points out the distinctive features of the three major Latino populations: Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban.

The book is organized around six central cultural themes: family, religion, community, the arts, (im)migration and exile, and cultural identity. Each chapter focuses on a particular theme by presenting readings from a variety of genres, including short stories, poems, essays, excerpts from novels, a play, photographs, even a few songs and recipes. These materials allow readers to approach Latino cultures from a multiplicity of perspectives.

The anthology also presents interviews and oral histories of Latinos from diverse walks of life and geographic regions. A migrant worker from the orange groves of Florida, an ethnomusicologist from northern New Mexico, a community organizer in the maquiladoras that line the border, a refugee from Central America, a muralist from Los Angeles, a museum director from Chicago, and a Spanish-language television executive from Chile--these are some of the people whose stories enrich the anthology. Their voices provide authenticity, immediacy, drama and inspiration. The interviews draw readers into the subject in an intensely personal way and weave together the various thematic strands of the book.

Barrios and Borderlands tells the valuable story of Latino cultures in this country and integrates that story into the larger framework of United States cultural history. Avoiding a chronological approach, it offers a dynamic and integrated way to look at Latino cultures which allows readers to draw comparisons with mainstream culture and with their own personal experiences. The book includes an introduction and a timeline reviewing the history of Latinos in the United States as well as a glossary of Spanish terms.

Publishers Weekly

A veritable everything-but-the-kitchen-sink compendium of modern Latino prose and speech, this volume gives voice to the underappreciated work and art of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Mexican-Americans. Included within these covers are many fascinating interviews, a short play, poetry, fiction, recipes and music. Heyck, a professor at Loyola University, divides the book according to subject--Family, Religion, the Arts, and so on. Unfortunately, some units are not as evenly planned as others. The editor relies on inteviews--lengthy, uninterrupted monologues, really--to fill the book, and most readers will find themselves wanting more fiction. The four lengthy interviews, one on top of the other, weigh down the section on La Communidad , for example. The material here is so diverse that it is best digested in short takes, ``dipping and sampling,'' as Heyck suggests. That way, the most interesting selections--such as Juan Flores's essay on Plena music, Otto Lopez's account of his low-riders' club and Edward Rivera's ``Family Installations''--won't be drowned out by all the competing voices in this intriguing cacophony. Photos. (June)

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Title: Barrios and Borderlands: Cultures of Latinos and Latinas in the United States

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