The official site for information about the literary works of Gary Soto

Undergraduate level Survey of Latin American Literature class this semester (January - April, 1998) at the University of Pittsburgh. We welcome your comments and dialogue exchange with our students.

Association of American Publishers (AAP) have joined us in a partnership to promote reading of Latino authors by creating the first national level book club: Las Comadres & Friends National Latino Book Club. Initially, select Borders stores in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Texas and Utah hosted the new book clubs. Membership is open to anyone.

Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima is about pride and assimilation, faith and doubt. The summer before Antonio Juan Márez y Luna turns seven, an old woman with healing powers comes to live with his family. There is something magical and mystical about Anaya's coming-of-age story in post-World War II New Mexico. The novel presents a world where everyday life is still full of dreams, legends, prayers, and folkways.

The House on Mango Street is a coming-of-age novel by Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros, published in 1984. It deals with a young Latina girl, Esperanza Cordero, growing up in a Chicago ghetto full of Chicanos and Puerto Ricans. Esperanza is determined to "say goodbye" to her impoverished Latino neighborhood. Not all readers may be able to identify with Esperanza's world in which everyone in the large family sleeps in one room, men prey on young girls, and husbands and fathers mistreat their children. Major themes include her quest for a better life and the importance of her promise to come back for "the ones I left behind."

t's as if Sandra Cisneros just had too much to say and was afraid she wouldn't be able to squeeze it all in. The story mostly concerns three generations of a Mexican family, some of whom live in Mexico, others in the U.S. The action starts with three family groups making an annual pilgrimage from their homes in Chicago to visit other family members - like Awful Grandmother and Little Grandfather - in Mexico City. As they drive in three carloads down Route 66 one of the daughters, Lala, tells us about them - or at least some of them.

Tia Chucha's Cafe Cultural is a dream of Chicano community empowerment. Our aim is to provide great books; workshops on the arts and literature; spoken word, musical, and theatrical performances; an art gallery and workspace; and a technological center to help bridge the digital divide in our communities.

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez transports us to the Dominican Republic in the mid-twentieth century when the country struggled under the brutal dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. A work of historical fiction, the novel honors the lives of Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal, who became icons of freedom and women's rights when they were assassinated in the autumn of 1960 for their role in the underground movement against Trujillo's regime.

The book was produced by the Chicano Communications Center in the mid-1970s. The reason for creating the book was to educate young Chicanos about their true history, an education they weren’t receiving in the schools. One of the staff people at the Chicano Communications Center who worked on the book, Joaquin Lujan, says the book was a critical component of achieving self-determination. He, like others, was taught growing up that his history was no longer important for his survival. He experienced, like many in his generation, the erasing of identity—expressed through language and culture—the minute he walked into the schoolhouse. “I walked in as Joaquin, and walked out as Jackie,” he says, “which was a very sad day for mi abuelito.” Joaquin Lujan, during the time of the creation of the book, as a member of the Chicano Communications Center “There was a need being expressed throughout our communities for a book that accurately represented our history as people of color in the southwest, so that our children had the tools they needed to understand themselves and the world they lived in,” Lujan says.

Margaret Donnelly writes books of significance to Latino communities.