Why, in the minds of most Americans, are Latinas still thought of as maids, seductresses, and booty-shaking salsa divas?
Never has the concept of Latina identity been more relevant. Also, never has there been a new generation of Latinas so ready to say what they mean and even criticize the Latina generation that preceded them. Until now.
In Border-Line Personalities, twenty writers share their poignant and wickedly funny stories about fighting with their mothers, struggling with speaking Spanish, and dealing with the men who've done them wrong, among a myriad of other topics. In the end, each essay encompasses a different point of view, lending credence to the theory that no one can label any one item, idea, or person more Latina than the other.
Questions posed to Latinas of all ages in Border-Line Personalities:
" `Y que dice la juventud?' `What does the youth have to say for itself?' " Julia Alvarez, in her introduction, remembers childhood family gatherings, when one of the viejos would wander over to ask the young people this question, fishing for intimidades. Of course, the juventud shut up immediately. A generation later, editors Moreno and Herrera Mulligan are also asking questions-and now, finally, it's okay to talk. How do today's young Latinas deal with the expectations of their mamis? Do they deal with men any better than their mothers did? What does it mean to be Latina today? The essays show a variety of Latina attitudes and lifestyles. Most contributors have survived several romances or divorces; some have children and spouses. All have struggled, somehow or other, to define and understand themselves as they straddle cultural borderlines. Readers will have their own favorites, but no one should miss Maria Hinojosa's "Ain't Dishin'," on her strong preference for sexual privacy, or Lynda Sandoval's painful essay on her relationship with her alcoholic father. Since some discuss universal problems and others focus on uniquely Latina issues, readers get an unusually balanced look at what's on the minds of this "new generation" of Latinas. Agent, Joy Tutela. (July) Forecast: Hot cover art, low price, plus lots of media-connected, articulate contributors should add up to robust sales. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.