The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Latino Literature
[3 volumes]
by Nicolás Kanellos
August 2008, 1456pp, 7x10
3 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-33970-7
$321, £247, 280€, A440
eBook Available: 978-0-313-08700-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

More than 700 alphabetically arranged entries discuss Latino literature and place it in its historical, political, social, and cultural contexts.

From East L.A. to the barrios of New York City and the Cuban neighborhoods of Miami, Latino literature, or literature written by Hispanic peoples of the United States, is the written word of North America’s vibrant Latino communities. Emerging from the fusion of Spanish, North American, and African cultures, it has always been part of the American mosaic. Written for students and general readers, this encyclopedia surveys the vast landscape of Latino literature from the colonial era to the present. Aiming to be as broad and inclusive as possible, the encyclopedia covers all of native North American Latino literature as well as that created by authors originating in virtually every country of Spanish America and Spain. Included are more than 700 alphabetically arranged entries written by roughly 60 expert contributors. While most of the entries are on writers, such as Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Oscar Hijuelos, and Piri Thomas, others cover genres, ethnic and national literatures, movements, historical topics and events, themes, concepts, associations and organizations, and publishers and magazines. Special attention is given to the cultural, political, social, and historical contexts in which Latino literature has developed. Entries cite works for further reading, and the encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography.

Entries cite works for further reading, and the encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography. The encyclopedia gives special attention to the social, cultural, historical, and political contexts of Latino literature, thus making it an ideal tool to help students use literature to learn about history and cultural diversity.


Included are more than 700 alphabetically arranged entries written by roughly 60 expert contributors. While most of the entries are on individual writers, others cover themes, concepts, genres, historical events and topics, movements, associations and organizations, ethnic and national literatures, and publishers and magazines.


"This is a remarkably compelling, thought-provoking, and readable reference set that belongs in all academic libraries as well as all good-sized public libraries."—Library Journal, January 1, 2009

"Greenwood has the edge in visual appeal, given its inclusion of many black-and-white author photographs... Academically, Greenwood provides more heft, not only in its sheer number of pages, but also through its lengthy essays that analyze related themes, movements, and historical events.' - Reviewed with Encyclopedia of HIspanic-American Literature (Facts on File)."—School Library Journal, February 1, 2009

"… this survey comprehensively covers the iconic figures, events and writes of Hispanic literature in the United States. This outstanding guide is recommended for all libraries serving a Latino population or supporting the study of Hispanic literature."—Lawrence Looks at Books, December 1, 2008

"In this encyclopedia, a project of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage program, well respected Hispanic scholar, publisher, and editor Kanellos brings together hundreds of entries on Latino authors as well as concepts, themes, movements, genres, events, and organizations that have shaped this literature from colonial times to the present. Aiming to cover the broad spectrum that is Latino literature, more than 700 entries range from a single paragraph to several pages, and each is written in a style that is not only accessible to those with a passing interest but also provides enough information for a comprehensive understanding of the topic and its importance. ... The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Latino Literature provides important information for scholars and general readers alike and is an excellent addition to public and academic libraries."—Booklist, March 15, 2009

"This set covers authors (Lucia Parsons, Rudolfo Anaya, José Martí), genres (prison literature), themes (barrio, Hispanic identity), styles (Nuyorican, Cuban, African), events (Operation Wetback, Mexican Revolution), publishers (Arte Público, Gráfico), and issues (repatriation, bilingualism) beginning in colonial times. Among 700 entries compiled by 60 scholars, 'orality' describes the preservation of dialect in text. 'La Llorona' provides a feminist overview, ties to authors and Frida Kahlo's paintings, and three citations for further reading. 'Américo Paredes' comprises North American ethnography and Chicano activism. Illustrations--a wanted poster for Joaquin Murrieta and photos of Californio singers and Texas Rangers displaying bandit corpses--enhance the entry 'corrido.' Folklore incorporates bilingual songs, games, riddles, proverbs, and Arawak mythology...Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers."—Choice, January 1, 2009

"The writing style of entries is accessible and even provides English translations of literary titles and terms that are written in Spanish. Special features of the encyclopedia include a comprehensive list of entries at the beginning of each volume, numerous cross references throughout, and a comprehensive index in Volume Three. Black and white captioned photographs are included with many entries. This will be a welcome addition for secondary school, public, and academic libraries."—Library Media Connection, May 1, 2009

". . . offers more in-depth coverage of historical and cultural events and topics that have influenced Latino authors. . . . the coverage of additional authors as well as the many scholarly topical essays provided in The Greenwood Encyclopedia makes this set a worthwhile additional purchase for those libraries that already own Latino and Latina Writers. . . . all academic and larger public libraries should purchase both Latino and Latina Writers and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Latino Literature."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, June 24, 2009

"The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Latino Literature will be most useful in public libraries and as a springboard for further study in undergraduate libraries."—ARBA, March 1, 2009

"I found the work entertaining, as well as highly informative and would recommend it for high school and college collections, along with public libraries seeking to expand their holdings in a field that will grow exponentially with the fast-growing Latino population."—Catholic Library World, June 1, 2009

". . . this three volume encyclopedia provides an invaluable additional contribution to the scholarship of Hispanic literature. . . . The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Latino Literature is highly recommended for academic and public libraries."—Reference Reviews, September 1, 2009
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