This is the first book to address head-on the question of how Latino/a literature wrestles with the pan-ethnic and trans-racial implications of the ""Latino"" label. Refusing to take latinidad (Latino-ness) for granted, Marta Caminero-Santangelo lays the groundwork for a sophisticated understanding of the various manifestations of ""Latino"" identity. She examines texts by prominent Chicano/a, Dominican American, Puerto Rican, and Cuban American writers - including Julia Alvarez, Cristina Garcia, Achy Obejas, Piri Thomas, and Ana Castillo - and concludes that a pre-existing ""group"" does not exist. The author instead argues that much recent Latino/a literature presents a vision of tentative, forged solidarities in the service of particular and sometimes even local struggles. She shows that even magical realism can figure as a threat to collectivity, rather than as a signifier of it, because magical connections - to nature, between characters, and to Latin American origins - can undermine efforts at solidarity and empowerment. In the author's close reading of both fictional and cultural narratives, she suggests the possibility that Latino identity may be even more elastic than the authors under question recognize.