Review by Choice Review
As a new arrival aspiring to join the venerable family of Gale Research biocritical reference sources, this set "presents a broad selection of the best criticism of works by Hispanic writers of the past one hundred years." The selection is indeed broad, as is the definition of "Hispanic," and includes some 71 writers of the Iberian peninsula, Latin America, and the US. "Important new" authors (e.g., Isabel Allende, Sandra Cisneros, Ariel Dorfman, Oscar Hijuelos, Pat Mora, Gary Soto) appear alongside the "most studied" (e.g., Jorge Amado, Mariano Azuela, Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Ram'on Jim'enez, Federico Garc'ia Lorca, Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda). Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and Jos'e Ortega y Gasset also appear. The introduction to each entry provides an overview of life and works; critical commentary follows, then sources for further study. For "additional coverage," appropriate Gale sourcebooks are cited. Despite the imposing title and breadth of scope, the real focus of HLC's intended readership remains unclear. For high school reports and lower-division collegiate papers, the HLC would no doubt suit quite well. Undergraduate majors in Hispanic studies, however, would probably not want to settle for the largely excerpted, summarized material. Recommended primarily for lower-division collections that emphasize the subject matter at hand. C. E. Perry; East Central University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
In a format similar to Black Literature Criticism [RBB D 15 91], this set reprints selected criticism on 71 Hispanic writers from the last 100 years. It includes such deceased writers as Ruben Dario and Miguel de Unamuno and such contemporary authors as Sandra Cisneros and Oscar Hijuelos. Literature is defined in the broadest sense, to include Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff, Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel, and Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Each entry begins with a biographical essay that also summarizes major works and the critical response to them. A list of principal works lists them in the language in which they were originally written and, when relevant, in English translation. The critical excerpts are arranged chronologically and note their sources. For some authors, excerpts are given from interviews or essays by the writers on their own work. Some of the excerpts have been taken from volumes in Gale's Literary Criticism series. However, 23 authors who are not represented in that series have entries that were prepared especially for this set. Each entry concludes with a bibliography of additional criticism, all of it in English, and references to other Gale titles in which the author is represented. A black-and-white portrait or other illustration is provided for most authors. There are indexes of titles, authors, and nationalities or professed affiliation. The nationality index shows that the set emphasizes writers of the Americas, with only 11 authors from Spain and Portugal. However, using professed affiliation is confusing. Some writers are listed as American, others as Chicano. Puerto Rican writers are not separately listed. One Chicano writer, Jimmy Santiago Baca, is listed under Mestizo, a racialnot a nationalterm. Hispanic Literature Criticism is an excellent source for libraries that can't afford to subscribe to the ongoing Gale Literary Criticism series. But even libraries that do have Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, for example, will find criticism here on popular authors of the Americas who are not in TCLC. Sandy Whiteley (Reviewed July 1994)
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
This two-volume set focuses on the major literary figures of the Spanish-and Portuguese-speaking world. It offers a brief biographical sketch, a list of principal works, numerous critical essays, and a short bibliography of additional articles about 71 prominent authors from Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and Latino United States. The selection obviously had to be limited and consequently includes only the most prominent writers. There are neverthelesss some surprising choices not normally found in literary collections, such as Fidel Castro, the Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff, and the Latino educator Richard Rodriguez. Why should they be included when such important Latin American writers as Brazil's most famous novelist, Machado de Assis, or Chile's poet Gonzalo Rojas were left out? This set is designed to aid introductory research in high school, public, and small college libraries with limited Spanish and Portuguese collections. For information beyond the introductory, the researcher will need to consult more comprehensive reference works such as Latin American Writers (Scribner, 1989) and Manual de literatura española (Ediciones Cenclit, 1981).-Mark L. Grover, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Ut. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.