Hispanic-American literature has a venerable history and has dramatically increased in importance and popularity in today's literary circles. "Encyclopedia of Hispanic-American Literature" is a comprehensive new encyclopedia covering authors and works that are an integral part of the high school and college literary canon, as well as those that are historically significant and gaining a reputation. This comprehensive one-volume resource contains approximately 250 entries on some of the most popular Hispanic-American authors and their works. Coverage includes: Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima, Chicano literature, Junot Diaz, Dominican American literature, El Bronx Remembered, Cristina Garcia, Oscar Hijuelos, Hispanic American journalism, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Jose Marti, Pat Mora, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Richard Rodriguez, and more.
Part of Facts On File’s Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Literature series, this volume focuses on the major works, notable authors, and essential concepts and movements in Hispanic American literature. For this volume, the major subgroups of this category are Spanish American Caribbean; Puerto Rican; and Cuban, Dominican, and Mexican American (i.e., Chicano) literatures. There are more than 250 alphabetically arranged entries, averaging about a page in length. Author-centered entries follow a template—short biographical information followed by a summary of the writer’s career, publications, consistent themes and motifs in the work, and awards garnered. Works that have their own separate entries are cross-referenced. The entries devoted to specific works mainly focus on summarizing the plot but also delve briefly into thematic elements and characters. Often cross-references to entries fleshing out the historical and social context of the work in question are provided. For example, the entry on Oscar Hijuelos’ novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (1989) contains references to other entries on Cuban-American literature, the Cuban Revolution, and Fidel Castro. All entries are concise and well written, offering quick and useful summaries of careers, concepts, and works. Users wanting more depth can consult the helpful bibliography at the end of each entry, which usually includes both books and journal articles. The overwhelming number of entries are devoted to writers and works. Entries on themes and concepts are relatively few and focus on topics like Border literature, Magic realism, Santeria, and Spanglish. The volume also contains bibliographies of secondary sources and major works by Hispanic American writers. Overall, this is an excellent quick-study guide to one of the major emerging ethnic literatures in the U.S. today and would be useful for most types of libraries. --Michael Tosko