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One of the leading voices in Latino literature writes about his life and work
Ilan Stavans has been a lightning rod for cultural discussion and criticism his entire career. In A Critic's Journey, he takes on his own Jewish and Hispanic upbringing with an autobiographical focus and his typical flair with words, exploring the relationship between the two cultures from his own and also from others' experiences.
Stavans has been hailed as a voice for Latino culture thanks to his Hispanic upbringing, but as a Jew and a Caucasian, he's also an outsider to that culture—something that's sharpened his perspective (and some of his critics' swords). In this book of essays, he looks at the creative process from that point of view, exploring everything from the translation of Don Quixote to the Hispanic anti-Semitism and the Holocaust in Latin America.
Cover photo: Sam Masinter
Praise for Ilan Stavans
"Latin America's liveliest and boldest critic and most innovative cultural enthusiast."
—The Washington Post
"One of the most influential figures in Latino literature in the United States."
—The New York Times
"An intellectual force to reckon with."
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
"For Stavans, criticism is a way of life: risky, gorgeous, heart-stoppingly urgent. He does it brilliantly, and not without a little mischief."
—Esther Schor, author of Emma Lazarus and Professor of Judaic Studies, Princeton University
"Stavans's vigorous engagement with Hispanic, American, and Jewish traditions makes him an ideal critic and mediator for these cross-cultural times."
—Morris Dickstein, author of Dancing in the Dark
"A literary feast of astonishing variety, but centered by the recurring enigmas of Spanish and Judaism and Cervantes, and always delightfully attentive to authors frequently overlooked."
—Ariel Dorfman, author of Heading South, Looking North
Copyright © 2009, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.
"Discovering Cuban Sci-fi" | Boing Boing | 9/19/2014
Feature | Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations | 9/3/2010
Review Boston Globe | 2/13/2010
Review Forward | 12/9/2009
Q&A with Ilan Stavans | PDF | 12/9/2009
UMP Author Podcast Series: Ilan Stavans | MP3 | December 2009