Well I can hardly believe this is the last blog of the semester! Overall I enjoyed these books, and I definitely learned a lot about Chicano, Latino literature, and I found it all quite interesting. If I were to rate the books in order of preference, one being my favourite and six being my least favourite, this is the order I would choose: 1. “and a body to remember with”, 2. “How the García Girls Lost their Accents”, 3. “Who Would Have Thought It?”, 4. “Woman Hollering Creek”, 5. “Y no se lo tragó la tierra”, and 6. the selections from José Martí.
In the selections written by José Martí, I really appreciated the descriptive imagery he used. I particularly enjoyed reading the last two short stories, “El Terremoto de Charleston”, and “Nueva York Bajo La Nieve”, mainly because his writing style made it so easy to imagine myself as a character within the stories…and I always enjoy when I am able to feel as though I am a part of the story I am reading.
“Y no se lo tragó la tierra” was interesting, and spoke a lot about social injustice especially for Chicanos living in Texas during the 50’s. I ended up reading the English version to gain a better understanding of the story. I thought it was interesting that the protagonist’s resolution to his problems was independence; choosing to do things on his own…I would have been interested to see his life afterwards, and whether or not he was satisfied…
Woman Hollering Creek….ohhhh woman hollering creek! There were so many hours spent writing this Wikipedia article that I gained such a huge appreciation for the work as a whole. One of my sections for the article was looking at the characters within this book…I particularly was impacted by Cleófilas, who thought she knew what she wanted in life, only to later discover disappointment and heartache. This story really jumped out at me and made me reflect on decisions in my own life, and the magnitude of the effects they can have on one’s life.
I loved “Who Would Have Thought It?” simply because it was a fun read. I enjoyed the bits of suspense, the love story, and that it truly was a comedy of errors. I definitely laughed a lot throughout!
“How the García Girls Lost their Accents” was also thoroughly enjoyable, and informative at the same time. I thought it was important to learn more about the lives of Latino immigrants from another country other than Mexico. I found Alvarez’s writing style attractive…mainly her use of timeline and the order in which she told the story. It definitely kept my attention! My favourite chapter was, of course, the last when we get a bit of a summary of Yolanda’s life and the trials she faces as an adult who is trying to make sense of her past. The “cat” metaphor was quite ingenious and I found it helped me to better understand where Yolanda was coming from.
My favourite book of the semester was without a doubt, “and a body to remember with”…It was quite amazing to read this book and then be able to hear from the author herself. The hardship and life struggles that Rodriguez depicts in this novel are so raw and lifelike and the detail with which she writes is so very intriguing…I was drawn in to the book immediately.
Anyways those are a few of my thoughts on the books we read this semester. This class has been great, it’s really sparked my interest to delve deeper into Latin American literature. Thanks Jon! Cheers…