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Life in Search of Readers

Reading (in) Chicano/a Literature

Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez

Publication Year: 2003

Martín-Rodríguez begins this writing with an examination of the Chicano 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, Martín-Rodríguez provides a very thorough list of Chicano/a literature which he studied and he recommends for the reader to consider.

Published by: University of New Mexico Press


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Title Page

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p. vii

The research and writing of this book have benefited from the following grants and fellowships: A. Whitney Griswold Faculty Award (Yale University), Morse Fellowship (Yale University), Summer Research Support (College of Liberal Arts, Wayne State University), Summer Research Grant (College of Urban, Labor, and Metropolitan...

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pp. 1-7

This book is a reader’s book. Its topic (reading), its author (a reader), and its intended recipients (academic and other interested readers) all point toward this often overlooked but most essential element of literary communication. In the field of Chicano/a literature, not much has been written on readers and readerships to date. The relevant studies on the...

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1. Life in Search of Readers: The Quinto Sol Generation and the Creation of a Chicano/a Readership

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pp. 9-39

In this chapter I will analyze the gradual process by which an expanding audience was formed for Chicano/a literature from the nineteenth century until the recent past. My interest is in tracing, very briefly, the information that we have on audience formation belonging to the nineteenth century and early twentieth century and to then concentrate...

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2. Characters as Readers and as Writers: A Metaliterary Reflection on the Reading Process

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pp. 41-66

Many Chicano/a novels from the 1970s on (and even some earlier texts) have concerned themselves with characters who become writers. This, in turn, has attracted considerable critical attention as scholars have analyzed the significance of the künstlerroman as a genre in Chicano/a literature.³ Undoubtedly, these characters struggle in their fictional worlds...

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3. (En)gendering the Reader: Chicana Literature and Its Implied Audience

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pp. 67-106

Chicana literature is by no means a new phenomenon. As a matter of fact, the oldest-known literary text published by a Mexican American is María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s Who Would Have Thought It? (1872). But it was not until the 1930s and 1940s that Mexican American women started publishing in significant numbers, although many earlier manuscripts are...

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4. Querido Reader: Linguistic and Marketing Strategies for Addressing a Multicultural Readership

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pp. 107-138

The previous three chapters have dealt with issues that pertain to a reader-oriented literary history of Chicano/a literature by analyzing some of the most influential books by Chicanos/as in recent decades, as well as by exploring the diachronic problematics of audience formation. With that context in mind, this chapter sets out to accomplish a double...

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5. Reading (in) the Past: Textual Recovery and the History of (Reading) Chicano/a Literature

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pp. 139-170

In this final chapter, I intend to address one of the most recent yet dramatic shifts in the history of (reading) Chicano/a literature: the recovery and reprint of forgotten and formerly lost literary works by Chicanos/as, to which my three epigraphs refer. Since the mid-1980s, approximately, numerous scholars have devoted themselves to...


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pp. 171-203

Works Cited

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pp. 205-221

Index of Names

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pp. 222-227


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pp. 228-232

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780826333629
E-ISBN-10: 0826333621
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826333605
Print-ISBN-10: 0826333605

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2003

OCLC Number: 779183248
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Life in Search of Readers

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • American literature -- Mexican American authors -- History and criticism.
  • Mexican Americans -- Intellectual life.
  • Authors and readers -- United States.
  • Books and reading -- United States.
  • Books and reading in literature.
  • Mexican Americans in literature.
  • American literature -- Mexican influences.
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