"The stereotype spells death to the imagination by shrinking all possibilities to one. Generalizations encourage us to stop considering what can be." --from the Introduction
The sheer number of different ethnic groups and cultures in the United States makes it tempting to classify them according to broad stereotypes, ignoring their unique and changing identities. Because of their growing diversity within the United States, Latinas and Latinos face this problem in their everyday lives. With cultural roots in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, or a variety of other locales, Hispanic-origin people in the United States are too often consigned to a single category. With this book Blas Falconer and Lorraine M. L pez set out to change this.
The Other Latin@ is a diverse collection of essays written by some of the best emerging and established contemporary writers of Latin origin to help answer the question: How can we treat U.S. Latina and Latino literature as a definable whole while acknowledging the many shifting identities within their cultures? By telling their own stories, these authors illuminate the richness of their cultural backgrounds while adding a unique perspective to Latina and Latino literature.
This book sheds light on the dangers of abandoning identity by accepting cultural stereotypes and ignoring diversity within diversity. These contributors caution against judging literature based on the race of the author and lament the use of the term Hispanic to erase individuality. Honestly addressing difficult issues, this book will greatly contribute to a better understanding of Latina and Latino literature and identity.
Lorraine M. L pez is an associate professor of English at Vanderbilt University. She works as the associate editor of the Afro-Hispanic Review, a bilingual journal of literature and culture. She is the author of several books, including The Gifted Gabald n Sisters and Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories.