The Latino Reader is the first anthology to present the full history of this important American literary tradition, from the mid-sixteenth century to the present day. Selections include works of history, memoirs, letters, and essays, as well as fiction, poetry, and drama. Adding to the importance of the volume are several selections from rare and little-known texts that have been translated into English for the first time.
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"Anthologies of Latino literature abound, and rightly so, but most focus on contemporary authors. Augenbraum and Olmos dig deeper, tracing the roots of this vibrant literary tradition all the way back to the mid-sixteenth century. They have selected strikingly effective works of history, memoirs, letters, essays, poetry, drama, and fiction, including texts translated into English for the first time, creating a broad range of voices and perspectives. The volume begins with Alva Nunez Cabeza de Vaca's Account, a chronicle of a disastrous 1527 expedition in the Southwest that is emblematic of all encounters between Spanish conquistadores and the indigenous peoples of the Americas. This powerful piece serves as the anthology's overture, and establishes Latino literature's key cultural and political themes. Other compelling and enlightening offerings include works by William Carlos Williams, a poet whose Puerto Rican heritage has rarely been considered integral to his poetic innovations; novelist John Rechy; Cleofas Jaramillo, a descendent of hispano pioneers; and a host of remarkable Latino writers prominent in decades past but overlooked in recent compilations." Booklist, ALA