Life in Search of Readers: Reading (in) Chicano/a Literature
Since colonial times, Chicano/a literature has varied with the authors' assumptions about the class and gender of their audiences, the linguistic choices available for literary communication, the geographic mobility of writers and readers, and the tastes they may have acquired in Mexico or other countries. In this examination of Chicano/a literature, Manuel M. Martin-Rodriguez analyses the ways it connects with and is shaped by the interaction with its audiences. Motivated by a Tomas Rivera essay from 1971, into the Labyrinth: The Chicano in Literature, Martin-Rodriguez began collecting, researching, and examining Chicano/a literature. He soon determined that a work of literature without a reader has no real existence and, specifically, Chicano/a literature has been defined as much by its readers as by its authors. movement of the 1960s and 1970s, when the creation of Chicano-owned or controlled publishing enterprises made possible a surge of Chicano/a literature at the national level. He then concentrates on Chicana literature and engendering the reader and on linguistic and marketing strategies for a multicultural readership. Finally, Martin-Rodriguez provides a very thorough list of Chicano/a literature which he studied and he recommends for the reader to consider. About The Author: Manuel M. Martin-Rodriguez is director of Hispanic Studies and Graduate Studies in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Texas A&M University, College Station, where he is an associate professor.
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This book is clearly written and an important contribution to literary theory, Chicano/a literature and reader response theory. Each chapter deals with reading and readers on a different level: the way that Quinto Sol, a publishing company helped foster a Chicano/a readership (and canonize certain books/authors); metaliterary elements in several novels; the implied reader in Chicano/a literature with an emphasis on gender; ways in which books were marketed to multiple types of readers; and the politics of the "recovery" movement (i.e., Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Heritage Project).
A great read, and useful for teaching undergraduate and graduate level as well!
Linguistic and Marketing Strategies
Textual Recovery and