Lives on the Line: The Testimony of Contemporary Latin American Authors

Doris Meyer, Editor University of California Press $45 (314p) ISBN 978-0-520-06002-9
Thirty writers from 11 countries, ranging from Virginia Ocampo (1890-1979) to Isaac Goldembergstet (born 1945) testify to their personal experiences in formulating a uniquely Latin American literature. Dating between 1960 and 1986, some of these essays appear in English for the first time, others were written specifically for this anthology. We discern here that, more than ever, Latin American writers feel the critical nature of their role in society both as writers and as social conscience and that they are willing to put their lives on the line, both physically and literarily. Violence including hostility, indifference, scorn and cultural isolation have foreclosed any possibility of a normal intellectual existence, and many of these authors are forced to emigrate, while, for others, internal exile and self-censorship are even more damaging. Yet these essays, which ask fundamental questions about the future of Latin America, bear witness to the area's rich cultural vitality and high literary quality. Since nearly all major writers of the ""boom'' period are represented here, this is an ideal introduction to the subject for general and academic readers. Meyer is professor of Hispanic Studies at Connecticut College. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 978-0-520-06794-3
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