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Encyclopedia of Latin American literature
Other title(s):
Latin American literature


Publication Information:
London ; Chicago : Fitzroy Dearborn, ©1997.
Physical Description:
xxii, 926 pages : map ; 29 cm
General Note:
Map on lining papers.
"Invaluable for translators as well as scholars, students, and teachers. Bibliography following each entry includes information about work in translation; numerous lesser-known writers and countries are covered well; long thematic entries discuss such individual topics. Dick Gerdes' 'Translation,' for example, offers a fine overview of work and trends in both Brazil and Spanish America. Highly recommended"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58. http://www.loc.gov/hlas
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A comprehensive, encyclopedic guide to the authors, works, and topics crucial to the literature of Central and South America and the Caribbean, the Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature includes over 400 entries written by experts in the field of Latin American studies. Most entries are of 1500 words but the encyclopedia also includes survey articles of up to 10,000 words on the literature of individual countries, of the colonial period, and of ethnic minorities, including the Hispanic communities in the United States. Besides presenting and illuminating the traditional canon, the encyclopedia also stresses the contribution made by women authors and by contemporary writers. Outstanding Reference Source Outstanding Reference Book

Reviews 2

Choice Review

This encyclopedia consists of entries about writers, works, and topics relating to the literature of Latin America, which is defined to include the French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands and Mexico as well as the countries of Central and South America. The signed entries are written by well-known scholars in the field. A one-volume encyclopedia with such a broad scope must necessarily be limited in depth of coverage; its inclusion of writers, historical and contemporary, is for the most part predictable, overlapping with other recent biographical reference tools (Hispanic Writers: A Selection of Sketches from Contemporary Authors, ed. by Bryan Taran, CH, Feb'91; Latin American Writers, ed. by Carlos A. Sole, 3v., CH, Jan'90). The entry for each writer consists of a critical overview of his/her literary work, a brief biographical sketch, a selected list of works in chronological order, and a list of further readings. There are no portraits or other illustrations. The articles that survey a variety of subjects are a valuable feature of this work, since many treat topics that are usually not represented in general reference works on Latin American literature. Among these are "Best Sellers," "Children's Literature," "Para-Literature" (popular literature), "Science Fiction," "Erotic and Homoerotic Writing," and indigenous literatures (Aymara, Quechua, etc.). Articles surveying the literature of each country, plus separate articles on colonial literature and on theater in most countries, contribute to the usefulness of this work. Three articles on Latino literature in the US focus on Chicano, Cuban, and Puerto Rican writers, although there are no entries for individual writers. A list of entries at the beginning and two indexes facilitate access to the alphabetical arrangement. Recommended for college, university, and public libraries whose readers are interested in comparative literature or Latin American literature and culture. A. Hartness; University of Texas at Austin

Library Journal Review

An honorary research fellow at the Univeristy of London, Smith has collected short essays on authors, books, and themes related to the literature of Latin America and the Caribbean. The essays range in length from one page for minor authors to ten for some country descriptions. Included after each essay is a brief bibliography of primary and secondary sources. This volume is similar to several reference works already available‘e.g., Latin American Writers (Scribner, 1989) and Hispanic Literature Criticism (LJ 7/94)‘but it has some unique characteristics: separate essays for important novels, a greater focus on historical (that is, pre-boom) authors, more emphasis on literature from smaller Latin American countries, and more material on non-Hispanic Caribbean authors. This work will be of value to smaller libraries as their only reference source on Latin American literature and to large research collections that desire the unique elements. [Academic libraries should first consider The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature, 3 vols., cited in "Best Reference Sources 1996," LJ 4/15/97, p. 36-40.‘Ed.]‘Mark L. Grover, Brigham Young Univ. Lib., Provo (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.