OVERRIDE

Living in Spanglish

The Search for Latino Identity in America

Ed Morales

St. Martin's Griffin

Chicano. Cubano. Pachuco. Nuyorican. Puerto Rican. Boricua. Quisqueya. Tejano.

To be Latino in the United States in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has meant to fierce identification with roots, with forbears, with the language, art and food your people came here with. America is a patchwork of Hispanic sensibilities-from Puerto Rican nationalists in New York to more newly arrived Mexicans in the Rio Grande valley-that has so far resisted homogenization while managing to absorb much of the mainstream culture.

Living in Spanglish delves deep into the individual's response to Latino stereotypes and suggests that their ability to hold on to their heritage, while at the same time working to create a culture that is entirely new, is a key component of America's future.

In this book, Morales pins down a hugely diverse community-of Dominicans, Mexicans, Colombians, Cubans, Salvadorans and Puerto Ricans--that he insists has more common interests to bring it together than traditions to divide it. He calls this sensibility Spanglish, one that is inherently multicultural, and proposes that Spanglish "describes a feeling, an attitude that is quintessentially American. It is a culture with one foot in the medieval and the other in the next century."

In Living in Spanglish , Ed Morales paints a portrait of America as it is now, both embracing and unsure how to face an onslaught of Latino influence. His book is the story of groups of Hispanic immigrants struggling to move beyond identity politics into a postmodern melting pot.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Living in Spanglish
1.THE ROOTS OF SPANGLISHThe Pachuco does not wish to return to his Mexican origin, nor it would seem does he wish to blend into North American life.--OCTAVIO PAZ, The Labyrinth of Solitude 
Puerto Rico, 1974 This is not the place where I was born.--MIGUEL PIÑERO 
Greater East Los Angeles, February 20, 6:30 P.M. Home away from home away from home.--LUIS VALDEZ 
 
To be Spanglish is to live in multisubjectivity; that is, in a space where race is indeterminate, and where class is slipperier than ever. As an integral part of their history,
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REVIEWS

Praise for Living in Spanglish

"Spanglish is not only a lexicon but a state of mind that knows no boundaries, a kind of Yiddish rephrased by Cesar Chavez, with echoes deep into the past and ramifications everywhere in our centerless future."—Ilan Stavans, author of The Hispanic Condition and On Borrowed Words: A Memoir of Language

"Living in Spanglish freeze-frames the wave of Hispanic cultures, giving is its origins, its lines and curves, its diverse components, and finally, its course. And Morales does all this while riding within the belly of the wave itself."—Benicio del Toro, actor

"In Living in Spanglish, cultural engagement teams with progressive political savvy to make for some vibrant and thoughtful bilingual takes on the Latino implosion busily reshaping la cultura americana in our times."—Juan Flores, author of From Bomba to Hip-Hip: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity

"Living in Spanglish neatly captures dialectics of the contemporary Latino experience in ways that blend the eclectic with broad historical sweep. Its interplay of the marginal with the mainstream is a unique and useful approach that makes its narrative accessible to those not entirely familiar with things Latino, yet challenging to those who think they are."—Angelo Falcon, Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund

"Impassioned . . . Poet and journalist Morales explores the difficulty of finding a definition for Latinos in the US."—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Ed Morales

  • Ed Morales is a Village Voice staff reporter who has contributed to numerous publications, including Rolling Stone, The Miami Herald, San Francisco Examiner, The Los Angeles Time and The Nation. He is also a poet whose work has appeared in Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café and a fiction writer included in Iguana Dreams and Boricuas.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Living in Spanglish

The Search for Latino Identity in America

Ed Morales

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Griffin

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