Words of the True Peoples: Prose

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Carlos Montemayor, Donald H. Frischmann
University of Texas Press, 2004 - Literary Collections - 271 pages
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As part of the larger, ongoing movement throughout Latin America to reclaim non-Hispanic cultural heritages and identities, indigenous writers in Mexico are reappropriating the written word in their ancestral tongues and in Spanish. As a result, the long-marginalized, innermost feelings, needs, and worldviews of Mexico's ten to twenty million indigenous peoples are now being widely revealed to the Western societies with which these peoples coexist. To contribute to this process and serve as a bridge of intercultural communication and understanding, this groundbreaking anthology—to be published in three volumes over the coming years—gathers works by the leading generation of writers in thirteen Mexican indigenous languages: Nahuatl, Maya, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Tojolabal, Tabasco Chontal, Purepecha, Sierra Zapoteco, Isthmus Zapoteco, Mazateco, Ńahńu, Totonaco, and Huichol.

Volume 1 contains narratives and essays by Mexican indigenous writers. Their texts appear first in their native language, followed by English and Spanish translations. Frischmann and Montemayor have abundantly annotated the English, Spanish, and indigenous-language texts and added glossaries and essays that trace the development of indigenous texts, literacy, and writing. These supporting materials make the anthology especially accessible and interesting for nonspecialist readers seeking a greater understanding of Mexico's indigenous peoples.

The other volumes of this work will be Volume 2: Poetry/Poesía and Volume 3: Theater/Teatro.

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About the author (2004)

Carlos Montemayor is an award-winning Mexican creative writer, political analyst, and expert on indigenous cultures. He is based in Mexico City.