From East L.A. to the barrios of New York City and the Cuban neighborhoods of Miami, Latino literature, or literature written by Hispanic peoples of the United States, is the written word of North America's vibrant Latino communities. Emerging from the fusion of Spanish, North American, and African cultures, it has always been part of the American mosaic. Written for students and general readers, this encyclopedia surveys the vast landscape of Latino literature from the colonial era to the present. Aiming to be as broad and inclusive as possible, the encyclopedia covers all of native North American Latino literature as well as that created by authors originating in virtually every country of Spanish America and Spain. Included are more than 700 alphabetically arranged entries written by roughly 60 expert contributors. While most of the entries are on writers, such as Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Oscar Hijuelos, and Piri Thomas, others cover genres, ethnic and national literatures, movements, historical topics and events, themes, concepts, associations and organizations, and publishers and magazines. Special attention is given to the cultural, political, social, and historical contexts in which Latino literature has developed. Entries cite works for further reading, and the encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography.