Puerto Rican Literature in the United States                                  -                       Latina Women Writers in the United States

bulletMarc Zimmerman has an excellent introduction to Latino Literature in:
bulletIntroductory essay by Roberta Fernández:
bullet Voces Americanas/American Voices: Thirty Years of Hispanic Literature in the United States
bulletSeminario "Latinos en USA" (Síntesis de algunas intervenciones)
bullet Latino Literature: A Bibliography, compiled by Elisabeth García
bulletA listing of stories and novels by US Latino Writers of Fiction 
bullet La literatura del exilio:Escritores latinoamericanos en Nueva York


bullet The Hispanic Population in the United States: March 2002 (Census information)
bullet Los latinos en USA: Una nación virtual
bullet “¿Hispanos/Latinos o Mexicanos, puertorriqueños, cubanos, dominicanos…? Rótulos identitarios y construcciñon de identidades sociales en Estados Unidos.  by Pablo VIlla and Raquel Márquez
bullet Los latinos en Estados Unidos: Su diversidad y dinamismo
bullet “Do You habla Spanglish?” by Alberto G. Llombart
bullet "We: The American Hispanic"



Books on Latino/a Literature Criticism:

Augenbraum, Harold and Ilan Stavans (eds. And Introd.).  Growing up Latino. Memoirs and Stories.  Bostoin, New York: Houghton Mifflin Comapny, 1993.

*---, Terry Quinn and Ilan Stavans (eds.).  Bendiceme, America. Latino Writers of the United States.  New York: The Mercantile Library of New York, 1993.

---, and Margarite Fernández Olmos (eds.).  U.S. Latino Literature: A critical Guide for Students and Teachers.  Wesport: Greenwood Press, 2000.



bullet These are some of my Class Notes and Introduction to Latino Literature:



 Latinos and their culture:

- Latino identity:   What is a “Latino”? Some definitions

- A brief history of Latinos in the United States


What’s in a name?

Hispanic: anyone from a country that speaks Spanish. (DOES not include Brazil) Hispanic: is NOT a racial category but denotes ETHNIC heritage. Hispanic is the term used by the US government.

Latino: Anyone from a country whose language is a romance language. It includes Haitians, Brazilians, etc. Latino is used for more informal communication. Latino is more a term adopted by the Latin population itself.

* However, most Latino people prefer to be called by their country of origin and nothing else: Cuban, Ecuadorian, Colombian, Puerto Rican, etc.

Latino is preferred because:

- It relates directly to the experience of Latin-American people living in the USA. Therefore it defines a process of hybridization, combination and selection of cultural values. A transcultural term. It is not Latin-American nor American, it is both and a new thing at the same time. Therefore, it expresses paradox, complexity and defiance.

- It denotes people who are the product of Latin-Indian and/or Latin-Black mestizaje and it is generally used by working class people. It affirms the cultures and people dominated by Mediterranean civilization in its career throughout the New World.

- It suggests ethnic pride and cultural affirmation and solidarity among all Latino people fighting against racism, sexism and classism.


Latino values:

- Latino values must be viewed not only as a synthesis of “the Hispanic,” (European, Jewish and Arab) but also of the indigenous and also of the African.

- Cultural values such as the concepts of tribe, of race, of honor, of kinship, of sex roles, of land, of property, of life and death have been formed out of the evolution of Arab and Jewish cultures.

- Because of their cultural past, Latino values are often considered ‘pre-capitalist,’ ‘pre-industrial,’ ‘communitarian,’ ‘agrarian,’ ‘Catholic,’ ‘conservative,’ ‘passive,’ ‘dependent,’ ‘emotional,’ irrational’ and all this leads to their definition as ‘dysfunctional’ people.

- Traditional Latino values clearly oppose those suggested by Anglo values: individualism, ‘rational’ interest, ‘industrial’ efforts, entrepreneurs, protestant, etc.


Latino identity-.

It can be viewed positive and negatively:

- For some people to preserve traditional Latino values perpetuates marginalization, the inferior status of Latinos and prevents social advancement.

- For other people to lose Latino values provokes a process of uprooting, a crisis of identity that makes survival difficult. The survival of Latino traditions involves the survival of those elements that can serve in forging a more fruitful future for a people with a hybrid but valuable identity. Therefore, Latino identity stands as an alternative to dominant cultural norms


Latino diversity:

Latinos are not an homogeneous group but:

- they belong to different social classes and races.

- Some are recent immigrants, other are second-generation or third-generation Latinos, others can trace their origins to native people from the south west, some are American citizens and others (Puerto Ricans) are American-born; some are legal immigrants and others are illegal immigrants, some have special status (Cubans, Haitians, etc.), some are Spanish-speaking only, others are English-speaking only while others are bilingual, etc.


A problematic future:

 - Increasing migration is provoked by free trade and work force transnational movements.

- Increasing number of unskilled Latino workers who form the lower classes which support American economy where the white aging population monopolizing wealth, resources and power.

- Increasing racial conflict, cultural hostility, prejudice and discrimination and struggles with other minorities.

- A great number of Latinos still live in the world of gangs, drugs, drop-outs, welfare dependency, parental absenteeism, growing racial and gender conflicts.


-         First Phase: Nostalgic Literature

-         Second Phase: Literature of migration

-         Third Phase: US Latino Literature






Estadisticas de visitas


© Antonia Domínguez Miguela. Site last updated: 07/03/2007