The Other Latin@
Writing Against a Singular Identity
—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. López 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.
“Güau! Finally, here comes an assemblage of personal viewpoints that isn't afraid to unsettle the complacent, reductionist picture of who Latinos are, or better, what ‘lazy thinking’ wants us to be. Maybe The Other Latin@ will foster a new era, bringing us out of the ghetto that is our own mind. Anigüey, it isn’t an exaggeration to say that I’ve been waiting for this book for my entire life (and even longer). That’s because I live—I let myself live—in the ‘o’ of other. Thanks to Falconer and López, now that ‘o’ might also stand for openness.” —Ilan Stavans, author of On Borrowed Words: A Memoir of Language and general editor of The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature
“An essential and vibrant collection of essays that explore the plurality as well as the differences found in Latino voices and their journeys into their past.” —Marjorie Agosín, author of Of Earth and Sea: A Chilean Memoir