Historia: The Literary Making of Chicana and Chicano History by Louis Gerard Mendoza (Paperback, 2001)
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- DescriptionThe nature of ethnic identity has been a major issue in the Mexican American community for decades w. Historia: The Literary Making of Chicana and Chica History makes a superb contribution to the multidisciplinary exploration of ways Mexican Americans have chosen to present their past through both factual and fictional narratives. Whereas history has offered frameworks for interpreting generational changes in the understanding of identity, literature has been particularly rich in exploring themes of power and domination and of intragroup complexities, Louis Gerard Mendoza argues in this invative look at historical and imaginative literatures and their role in the formation of ethnic identity. Focusing on late twentieth-century literature and history by American writers of Mexican descent, Mendoza examines how style, purpose, and context function to facilitate or constrain the understanding of the past. By juxtaposing the literary and the historical, he provides new insight on culture, agency, and experience. Mendoza accepts as his starting point the generational model posited by historian Mario Garcia, then contrasts for each generation the nuances and contradictions offered by one or more Chicana/o creative writers. Other historians whose works are centrally considered include Juan Gomez-Quines, Rodolfo Alvarez, Ricardo Romo, David Monteja, and Carlos Muz, while the literary writers featured include Jovita Gonzalez, Alejandro Morales, Sara Estela Ramirez, Teresa Paloma Acosta, Oscar Zeta Acosta, and Americo Paredes. Mendoza argues that history is the narrative battleground upon which literature is based--the writing and rewriting of Chica history thus becomes an important subtext of Chicana/o literature. However, he contends that most Chicana/o historical narratives are integrated uncritically into literary analysis to establish background, resulting in the invocation of the histories as representations of the real. Libraries, Borderlands scholars, and those interested in the broad issues of cultural studies will want to own Mendoza's invative book, which instead of insisting on the strict separation of the two genres of history and literature, seeks ways to integrate them through the new critical analysis.
- Author BiographyLouis Gerard Mendoza is chiar of the Chicano Studies Department at the University of Minnesota. He has published a number of articles on the subject of ethnic identity. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994.
- Author(s)Louis Gerard Mendoza
- PublisherTexas A & M University Press
- Date of Publication31/10/2001
- SubjectHistory: Specific Subjects
- Series TitleRio Grande/Rio Bravo: Borderlands Culture and Traditions
- Series Part/Volume NumberNo 7
- Place of PublicationCollege Station
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintTexas A & M University Press
- Content Notebibliography, index
- Weight549 g
- Width155 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine25 mm
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