Chicano/Chicana and Literary Criticism

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Conversations with Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Writers

Edited by Hector Torres

Hector A. Torres conducted these interviews with today's popular Chicano/a writers, asking each about language and life between languages, about the creative drive that has guided them in their craft and commits them to their art. In sharing their responses, Torres reveals a brief biography of each author and a concise examination of their writings. Taking their stories and essays individually and collectively, Torres explains how each author reiterates issues that have concerned Mexican Americans since at least 1848.

Chicano/a authors know that an abundance of politics can spoil a story, as can too little. The writers included here span historical terrain, first, under the shadow of Manifest Destiny and, then, under the America's imperial sovereignty stance. Interviewees include Rolando Hinojosa ("I Reflect the Way Valleyites Act and React"), Arturo Islas ("I Don't Like Labels and Categories"), Erlinda Gonzales-Berry ("On the New Mexican Borderlands"), Gloria AnzaldĂșa ("The Author Never Existed"), Ana Castillo (two separate interviews), Sandra Cisneros (two separate interviews), Pat Mora ("I Was Always at Home in Language"), Richard Rodriguez ("I Don't Think I Exist"), Demetria Martinez ("To Speak as Global Citizens"), and Kathleen Alcalá ("To Tell the Counternarratives").


Hector A. Torres is associate professor of English, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Conversations with Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Writers is his first book.


"Torres has disarmed the conventional interview format of pretense and posturing, and presents here some of the most honest and vital dialogues with an impressively outspoken group of writers."


El Paso Times

"Hector A. Torres's new book provides a window into the intentions and motivations of some of Chicana and Chicano literature's most widely read and significant authors....Moreover, the publication of interviews with many of these authors...are worthy projects in themselves."


Western American Literature

6 x 9 in. 368 pages