Review by Choice Review
Described as a "critical anthology of representative Latin American writers," this set will perhaps garner praise and blame in equal proportions; it should nevertheless be acquired by all libraries pretending to concern for Latin American literature. The selection seems good, the biographical/critical articles are at worst workmanlike and at best superb, the binding is sturdy if scuffable, and the bibliographies appended include not only a selection of criticism but also a listing of the author's works. All of this augurs well for reference use. The catch? First of all, the arrangement is relentlessly chronological, by birthdate of the subject author; this forces index look-up for all entries. Second, the editing, while adequate, is less than consistent; there are grammatical errors in some articles, and a number of redundancies in most. A decision to use a translated title as the title of reference seems questionable, since the material supplied in the bibliographies is often lacking in English-language items. Caveats aside, there is nothing else like this set in the current market, and it will serve as an indispensable supplement to works like the Oxford Companion to Spanish Literature, ed. by P. Ward (CH, Dec '78) or the Handbook of Latin American Literature, comp. by D.W. Foster (CH, Sep '87). -N. F. George, Kenyon College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
With this ambitious effort, which incorporates in a single source 176 major writers from all 19 countries of Spanish America plus Brazil, Scribner makes a substantial addition to its ``Writer'' series. The book ranges widely--all genres and a sizeable proportion of women are included--and thus not all the names will be readily familiar to American readers. National representation corresponds to literary output; the six Central American countries are represented by only eight articles, whereas Argentina alone merits 34. The introductory essays, written by recognized authorities who summarize and synthesize each writer's contribution, vary in length from four to 18 pages, the average being eight; almost a quarter are translated. Appended to each biobibliographical essay is an unannotated bibliography consisting of original works, arranged chronologically; translations, arranged alphabetically but usually with no indication of the original title; and selected bilingual critical studies necessary for further research. The arrangement, chronological by birth date rather than alphabetical, renders the index in the third volume indispensable. Since nothing in English compares to the set's comprehensiveness, its long-term investment for academic and public libraries, both for literature reference departments as well as for collection development, will offset the price.-- Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.