Herencia (meaning "inheritance" or "heritage") is the first anthology to bring together literature from the entire history of Hispanic writing in the United States, from the age of exploration to the present. The product of a ten-year project involving hundreds of scholars nationwide, Herencia is the most comprehensive literary collection available, spanning over three centuries and including writers from all the major Hispanic ethnic communities, and writing from diverse genres.
Here is the voice of the conqueror and the conquered, the revolutionary and the reactionary, the native and the uprooted or landless. Of course, readers will find pieces by such leading writers as Piri Thomas, Luis Valdez, Isabel Allende, Oscar Hijuelos, and Reinaldo Arenas. But what really distinguishes this anthology is its historical depth and its rich, complex portrait of Hispanic literature in the United States. Beginning with Cabeza de Vaca's account of his explorations in the New World, the anthology includes a passage from La Florida, a narrative historical poem of 22,000 verses, written by Franciscan friar Alonso de Escobedo; an attack on Mexican stereotypes in the nascent movie industry, written by Nicasio Idar, editor of Laredo's La Cronica; and an essay about Coney Island written by revolutionary Jose Marti.
Embracing Chicano, Nuyorican, Cuban American, and Latino writings, the voices of immigrants and the voices of exiles, Herencia makes a vital contribution to our understanding not only of Hispanic writing in the United States, but also of the great contribution Hispanics have made to the United States.
Ten years in the making, this anthology is an unprecedented collection of writing in North America from the age of the Spanish explorers in the 16th century to the present. Kanellos is most famous for founding Arte P blico Press, the oldest Hispanic publishing house in the United States. As he states in his lengthy introduction, while most people think American letters began with the English Colonies, Spanish had been spoken and written in North America since the early 1500s. From the writings of explorers like Alvar N ez Cabeza de Vaca, who wandered from Florida to the Southwest for eight years, to the early political defense of Hispanic culture in 19th-century Texas, to the classic verse of the Nuyorican poets of urban postwar America, Herencia comprehensively collects an underacknowledged literature. The anthology is divided into sometimes questionable sections, as when the categorization is based on a writer's birthplace rather than the content of his or her work. This is especially evident in the placement of Junot D az, whose work epitomizes U.S. Latino writing, in the "immigrant" section. Still, the difficulty of categorizing the Latino experience excuses this problem, and since so many essential works from Pedro Pietri, Cherrie Moraga, Reinaldo Arenas, Julia de Burgos, Rodolfo "Corky" Gonz lez, and Jos Mart are included, Herencia is absolutely indispensable. Recommended for all academic and public libraries. Adriana Lopez, "Cr ticas" Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.