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The Oxford Book of Latin American Essays Hardcover – October 16, 1997
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From Library Journal
The Latin American literary essay is alive and well, its critical thinking complementing the magic and exoticism common to Latin American fiction. Editor Stavans, a novelist and critic, has compiled 77 essays, translated from Spanish or Portuguese, dating from 1849 to 1994 and representing writers from many of the countries in the region. The broad scope of the anthology is notable, although more influential essays by authors such as Jorge Luis Borges and Octavio Paz do exist. The authors range from Andres Bello to Subcomandante Marcos, while some of the themes treated include identity, religion, and technology. There are also essays about Thoreau and Josephine Baker that North Americans will appreciate. In addition to the literate content, the volume serves as a reference tool thanks to an excellent introduction, a topical index, and short biographies about each author. Highly recommended as a resource in Latino literature collections.?Rebecca Martin, Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The essay often dwells in the shadow of splashier literary forms, particularly the novel, but in Latin America, the essay is given much esteem and exercise. Gathered in this anthology is a feast of essays from the region, defined here as "continental Latin America, Brazil, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean." Selections have been translated into English, their dates of composition ranging between 1849 and 1994; the editor's preface is a strikingly original definition of the qualities of the essay and its appropriateness to the Latin American voice. Particularly enjoyable choices include "Niagra" by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (Uruguayan, 1811^-88), in which he describes the breathtaking grandness of this famous set of falls; "Washington and Bolivar" by Juan Montalvo (Ecuadorean, 1832^-89), comparing the two great heroes of North and South America; and "Books I Read Sitting and Books I Read Standing," by Jose Vasconcelos (Mexican, 1882^-1959), which explains his system of classifying reading matter. The joys and provocations awaiting the reader go on and on. Brad Hooper