Since his first publication in 1942, Luis Leal has likely done more than any other writer or scholar to foster a critical appreciation of Mexican, Chicano, and Latin American literature and culture. This volume, bringing together a representative selection of Leal's writings from the past sixty years, is at once a wide-ranging introduction to the most influential scholar of Latino literature and a critical history of the field as it emerged and developed through the twentieth century. Instrumental in establishing Mexican literary studies in the United States, Leal's writings on the topic are especially instructive, ranging from essays on the significance of symbolism, culture, and history in early Chicano literature to studies of the more recent use of magical realism and of individual New Mexican, Tejano, and Mexican authors such as Juan Rulfo, Carlos Fuentes, Jose Montoya, and Mariano Azuela. Clearly and cogently written, these writings bring to bear an encyclopedic knowledge, a deep understanding of history and politics, and an unparalleled command of the aesthetics of storytelling, from folklore to theory. This collection affords readers the opportunity to consider - or reconsider - Latino literature under the deft guidance of its greatest reader.
Luis Leal has been a member of the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara since 1976. In 1991 he received the Aztec Eagle from the Mexican government and in 1997, the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton. Each year the Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature is presented to a landmark work in Latino literature. Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture and Five-College 40th Anniversary Professor at Amherst College. His recent books include Dictionary Days: A Defining Passion (Graywolf, 2005), and On Borrowed Words: A Memoir of Language (Penguin, 2002). He is also the author of Bandido: The Death and Resurrection of Oscar ""Zeta"" Acosta (2003) and The Disappearance: A Novella and Stories (2006), both published by Northwestern University Press.
Introduction by Ilan Stavans; THEORIZING AZTLAN; 1. In Search of Aztlan; 2. A Historical Perspective; 3. The Problem of Identifying Chicano Literature; 4. Into the Labyrinth; 5. Truth-Telling Tongues; 6. Lo real maravilloso in Nuevo Mexico; 7. The Spanish-Language Press; 8. El paso y la huella; COLONIALS AND DECIMONONICOS; 9. Bernardo de Balbuena; 10. Gaspar Perez de Villagra; 11. La Conquistadora; 12. Felix Varela; 13. Miguel Antonio Otero; THE 20TH CENTURY AND BEYOND; 14. Mariano Azuela; 15. Maria Cristina Mena; 16. Jose Ruben Romero; 17. Pedro Henriquez Urena; 18. Octavio Paz; 19. Juan Rulfo; 20. Carlos Fuentes; 21. Jose A. Montoya; 22. Tomas Rivera; 23. Americo Paredes; 24. Rolando Hinojosa-Smith; 25. Rudolfo Anaya; 26. Sandra Cisneros; NORTH = SOUTH; 27. La Malinche; 28. Other Female Archetypes; 29. Mexico's Centrifugal Culture; 30. Aspects of the Novel; 31. Magical Realism; 32. African Influences; 33. Tlatelolco, Tlatelolco; 34. The Ugly American; 35. Beyond Myths and Borders; 36. Mirror, Mirror; 37. Octavio Paz and the Chicano.