Historical Dictionary of Latin American Literature and Theater

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Booklist Reviews 2011 May #2

Number 45 in Scarecrow's Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts series encompasses the Spanish and Portuguese literatures of Mexico, Central America, and South America, from the diaries of Christopher Columbus (preserved by Bartolomé de las Casas) to short stories, plays, novels, and other forms of the present day. The countries of the Caribbean, often treated as a separate entity, are excluded. Author Young is professor emeritus of Spanish and Latin American studies at the University of Alberta, and author Cisneros is an associate professor at the same university. Following a chronology and introduction, the 500-page dictionary section is composed almost entirely of biographical entries ranging from a paragraph to a couple of pages for the best-known authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Fuentes, and Gabriel García Márquez. Each entry includes the author's country (though many long resided elsewhere), dates, brief biographical and literary highlights, and titles of major works (in the original language and in English, with clear indication whether there is an English translation). There is an entry for the literature and theater of each country as well as entries for movements, terms, and genres, such as Ultraísmo, Boom, and Historical novel. Cross-referencing within and following entries is extensive. A bibliography of nearly 200 pages is arranged by country, with bibliographies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, histories, and anthologies (or some subset) followed by works on particular authors; these resources are in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. Recommended for academic libraries and public libraries where the literature of Latin America is important. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.