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Latina written by Lillian Castillo-speed

 

Latina written by Lillian Castillo-speed

Overview:

Latina brings together a remarkable selection of writings, gathering essays, short stories, and excerpts from novels that have attracted a wide readership and critical praise, as well as original pieces by lesser-known authors. Many of the works here draw on the special experience of being a member of a minority group; all speak to the universal human condition. The contributors include such well-known names as Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Denise Chavez, Ana Castillo, Cristina Garcia, and Sandra Benitez. Mexican Americans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and other women of the Americas are all represented. They write of their heritage; of their lives in an often alienating land; of the joys and sorrows of their particular communities; and of their political concerns, their hopes, and their dreams.

Memorable and moving fiction and thoughtful and provocative nonfiction--mainstream works by both well-known and emerging Latina writers--focus on themes of heritage, lives in an often alienating land, political concerns, hopes, and dreams. Contributors include Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Ana Castillo, and others.

Synopsis:

Latina brings together a remarkable selection of writings, gathering essays, short stories, and excerpts from novels that have attracted a wide readership and critical praise, as well as original pieces by lesser-known authors. Many of the works here draw on the special experience of being a member of a minority group; all speak to the universal human condition. The contributors include such well-known names as Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Denise Chavez, Ana Castillo, Cristina Garcia, and Sandra Benitez. Mexican Americans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and other women of the Americas are all represented. They write of their heritage; of their lives in an often alienating land; of the joys and sorrows of their particular communities; and of their political concerns, their hopes, and their dreams.

Publishers Weekly

Sampling works from over 30 contemporary female Latin writers, this is a worthwhile and fashionable digest. The stories, recollections, letters and essays range widely in topic, tone, style and quality. Unfortunately, most of the strongest pieces are buried deep in the book. Among them, the story ``Personality Fabulosa'' by Monica Palacios captures with deceptive levity a heavy crush at the moment it develops into mutual courtship. Also terrific, Lucha Corpi's essay, ``Epiphany: The Third Gift'' depicts a tomboy distressing her traditional parents, who find solace in her bookishness: "`When you educate a man,' my father would often tell my younger sister and me, `you educate an individual. But when you educate a woman, you educate the whole family.'" Mary Helen Ponce's ``Just Dessert'' deftly portrays a disastrous dinner date, as the woman futilely tries to concentrate on the man's gorgeous lips and ignore the bigotry coming out of them. The stories of Cristina Garca, Aurora Levins Morales, Kathleen Ann Gonzlez and Judith Ortiz Cofer also work brilliantly. Less successfully, other writers rely too much on their ethnicity for interest rather than intrinsic merit. For example, Esmeralda Santiago's excerpt comes across as politically correct and facile: ``Americanos talk funny when they speak Spanish.'' By and large, however, the several gems in this collection outweigh the weak parts. (Aug.)

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Title: Latina

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