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Book Review:LATINO BOOM AN ANTOLOGY OF U.S LATINO LITERATURE: BY CHRISTIE, AND GONZALEZ (2005)

Updated on July 31, 2014

The Latino boom, An Anthology of U.S Latino Literature by Christie, and Gonzalez (2005), comprises of excerpts and Latino Literature that were originally written in English. In this Anthology, the writer has presented the works of well-established writers alongside the voices of emerging writers from different Latino communities. In this work, students of literature and other readers are invited to evaluate Latino literature from various perspectives. The works in this book are thematically organized in terms of poetry, fiction, drama and essays.

This paper presents an analysis of some African elements in this book.

Woman’s Work by Julia Alvarez

The poem, “Woman’s Work” is one of the poems in “Latino boom: An Anthology of U.S Latino Literature” written by Julia Alvarez. The book is written to explain the role of women in the society and how critical that role is. Alvarez is interested in dispelling the notion that a stay at home wife just sits around watching soap operas, eating bon-bons, or just being in a bathrobe. While men are depicted as having it rough looking for bread for the family, women are said to having it easy. Someone once claimed, “The work of a woman is never done”. The author goes on to articulate that in as much as the women would go out looking for work, it was still their responsibilities to keep their houses in order. Alvarez goes on to point out that despite being there an increasing number of stay at home men who take care of children and the house, history and tradition informs that society looks upon women to undertake these responsibilities (Alvarez, 2005).

The articulation by Alvarez is in line with African contextualization of gender roles where the roles of female are a reflection of caretaking responsibilities, while those of men are focused at work status and relationship within the society (Davenport, and Yurich, 1991).

La Promesa by Guy Garcia

Another story we will analyze in this perspective is “La Promesa” by Garcia (2006). In this story, the author is focused at capturing the concept of the lost worlds through the stories’ main character, Tom Cardona. This character dives into not only the lost world, but also a supernatural world. The main character in this story is depicted has having immense knowledge concerning his roots and ancestry and did not want to dive into other cultures that were not his. Although he had stayed in a foreign land for a long time, he strived to find his roots and ancestry after learning the same in this foreign land. This gives us information on how this character and many other people value their own ancestry.

In the African context, people learn from stories told by their seniors. Majority of Africans likes tracing their roots back to their ancestors, and they feel elevated by their past. We often see how Africans or African Americans prefer putting marks on their bodies as a means of recognizing their ancestry. Most of them hold a perception that it is imperative to honor their African heritage, and become proud of where they come from. In essence, most Africans consider individual heritage as a critical element in their lives.

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