Dancing with Ghosts: A Critical Biography of Arturo Islas by Frederick Luis Aldama (Paperback, 2004)
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About this product
- DescriptionThis first critical biography of Arturo Islas (19381991) brings to life the complex and overlapping worlds inhabited by the gay Chica poet, velist, scholar, and professor. Gracefully written and deeply researched, Dancing with Ghosts considers both the larger questions of Islas's life--his sexuality, racial identification, and political personality--and the events of his everyday existence, from his childhood in the borderlands of El Paso to his adulthood in San Francisco and at Stanford University. Frederick Aldama portrays the many facets of Islas's engaging and often contradictory personality. He also explores Islas's coming into the craft of poetry and fiction--his extraordinary struggle to publish his vels, The Rain God, La Mollie and the King of Tears, and Migrant Souls--as well as his pivotal role in paving the way for a new generation of Chica/a scholars and writers. Through a skillful interweaving of life history, criticism, and literary theory, Aldama paints an unusually rich and wide-ranging portrait of both the man and the eventful times in which he lived. He describes Islas's struggle with polio as a child, his near-death experience and ileostomy as a thirty-year-old beginning to explore his queer sexuality in San Francisco in the 1970s, and his fatal struggle with AIDS in the late 1980s. Drawing from hundreds of unpublished letters, lecture tes, drafts of essays, vels, and poetry archived at Stanford University, Aldama also deals frankly with the controversies that swirled around Islas's impassioned love life, his drug addictions, and his scholarly and professional career as one of the first Chica/a professors in the United States. He discusses the importance of Islas's pioneering role in bridging Anglo, Latin American, Chica/a, and European storytelling styles and voices. Dancing with Ghosts succeeds brilliantly both as an account of a fascinating life that embraced many different worlds and as a chronicle of the grand historical shifts that transformed the late-twentieth-century American cultural landscape.
- Author BiographyFrederick Luis Aldama is Associate Professor of U.S. Ethnic and Postcolonial Literature in the English Department at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is the author of Postethnic Narrative Criticism: Magicorealism in Ana Castillo, Hanif Kureishi, Julie Dash, Oscar Zeta Acosta, and Salman Rushdie (2003) and editor of Arturo Islas: The Uncollected Works (2003) and of the forthcoming Critical Mappings of Arturo Islas's Narrative Fictions and Contemporary Chicano/a Letters Mapped by Interview.
- Author(s)Frederick Luis Aldama
- PublisherUniversity of California Press
- Date of Publication16/11/2004
- SubjectBiography: Literary
- Place of PublicationBerkerley
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of California Press
- Content Note11 b/w photographs
- Weight59 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine12 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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