Preface Latino Literature: An Encyclopedia for Students offers a comprehensive overview of the most important authors, movements, genres, and historical turning points within the field of Latino literature. It offers a historical and a political overview of the context in which Latino literature first began to be produced in the United States. The rich multiplicity of Latino literature speaks about the experience of Latinos from the beginning of the colonial period, when the Spaniards, French, and English first occupied different territories, and tells us about the historical complexity of migrations of people from Latin America during the last centuries that come to assemble the complex mosaic of present-day struggles. As a whole, the aesthetic production of Latinos has enriched, questioned, and transformed the social, cultural, economic, intellectual, and political compass of the United States. Latino Literature: An Encyclopedia for Students focuses on literary works by authors whose identities and culture are related to the Latino cultures. By Latino cultures, we are referring to people whose origin can be traced back to the geo- graphic region of Latin America, including Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean region. We understand literature more broadly as any kind of cultural production that has a narrative, poetic, or performative quality published in a wide variety of forms, including short stories, novels, poems, autobiogra- phies, essays, plays, theatrical performances and interventions, and works for children and young adults. The topics that Latino literature encompasses are var- ied, and many accounts devote their energy to the experience of finding a sense of belonging in an inhospitable political and social context. Latino Literature: An Encyclopedia for Students showcases different critical approaches utilized to interpret the various dimensions of such literary produc- tion. The encyclopedia also provides numerous examples of young authors and new developments in the emerging field of Latino literature and how they are shaping the publishing industry and contemporary cultural production. As the title clarifies, this encyclopedia is meant to be a resource for students, particularly high school and college and university undergraduates who are begin- ning to research topics related to Latino literature. The entries provide an intro- duction to the key figures and movements as well as general explanations of their significance for Latino literature. The entries are arranged alphabetically, and they are written by prominent well-established and upcoming scholars in the field. Each entry begins with a summary paragraph introducing the topic or author and
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