Iguana Dreams: New Latino Fiction

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9780060969172: Iguana Dreams: New Latino Fiction

With an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos, this important anthology of contemporary fiction represents the wide range of cultures and experiences that mark the diverse ethnic groups of the Latino community.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Groundbreaking anthology: 29 stories of varying quality by Latino authors writing in English. Cuban, Mexican, New Mexican, and Puerto Rican contributors predominate. The same themes are often repeated--childhood reminiscence, nostalgia for Cuba, character sketches, mean streets, questions of identity and assimilation, romance with ``real'' Americans, alienation between grandmothers and Americanized grandchildren--and they're sometimes handled in an accessible but almost school- essayish style with stock characters. Such material becomes not just informative, though, but fresh in the hands of Lionel G. Garcia writing about children at confession; of Ed Morales in his story of a dangerous Lower East Side block being gentrified; and of Jos‚ Antonio Villarreal in two brief reminiscences. Chata, the cleaning lady created by Denise Ch vez, is so alive that she all but jumps off the page. Ricardo Pau-Llosa's character Martes longs for Cuba but with a twist that leads to an encounter both satirical and surreal. Gustavo P‚rez-Firmat writes of attitudes toward Cuban and American women: a little bit sophomoric but a funny, punny cultural romp. On the very literary side, Alberto Alvaro Ros contributes an enchanting tale of a circus-train wreck, and Sandra Cisneros a lyrical character sketch. Ed Vega's complex story--about an HIV-positive Puerto Rican doctor who, among other matters, is tempted to seduce his promiscuous ex-wife out of revenge--probes the psychology of intelligence, how people hide from or come to knowledge. Several problematic pieces shift and then end abruptly, excerpts perhaps from novels. Most of the standout stories are by writers with limited or regional reputations, making this a valuable introduction to their work. -- Copyright 1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

The remarkable diversity of Latino culture and literature is showcased in this excellent new anthology by Poey, a doctoral student at Louisiana State University, and Suarez ( The Cutter ). Represented in the 29 pieces offered here are Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Chilean, Chicano and Chicana writers. All of them live in the United States (many were born here). Because of this, many of the stories struggle with the issue of assimilation, and Spanish words rest comfortably in pieces crafted otherwise in English. Rolando Hinojosa-Smith's story of a retreat by UN forces in Korea leading to high civilian casualties becomes a biting and ironic study of cowardice and self-preservation. Ruldolfo Anaya, in only a few brief pages, manages to give readers both a well-formed character and an eloquent meditation on familial ties and death. Elena Castedo, in her simple story of a Hispanic maid, indicts the casual cruelty of racism and the fragmentary bond of employee to employer. Ricardo Pau-Llosa tells the story of an exile's return to a post-Castro Cuba and proves once again that one can never go home. Incredibly rich, this body of literature deserves to be better known in the dominant culture.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Delia Poey (Editor), Virgil Suarez (Editor), Oscar Hijuelos (Foreword)
Published by Harper Perennial (1992)
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