Mexican American Literature
First Edition   ©2016

Mexican American Literature

A Portable Anthology

Dagoberto Gilb , Ricardo Angel Gilb

  • ISBN-10: 1-319-02108-5; ISBN-13: 978-1-319-02108-5; Format: Paper Text, 528 pages

This outstanding collection of essential works—selected by writer Dagoberto Gilb—represents a variety of voices, genres, and cultural and historical moments.

    • nineteen works of fiction, including Jovita González’s "The Bullet-Swallower" (1935); Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima (1971); Ron Arias’s The Road to Tamazúnchale (1975); Denise Chávez’s "¡Híjole! In the Darkness" (2001); Lorraine López’s "Soy la Avon Lady" (2002); and a graphic work, the Hernandez Brothers’ "Chiro el Indio" (2008)
    • thirty poems, offering a collection of early classics such as Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales’s "I Am Joaquín" (1967) and Abelardo "Lalo" Delgado’s "Stupid America" (1969), as well as contemporary works such as Pat Mora’s "Now and Then, America" (1986) and Lorna Dee Cervantes’s "A Chicano Poem" (2012)
    • three plays, tackling themes including identity and power: Luis Valdez’s Las Dos Caras del Patroncito (1965) and Los Vendidos (1967), and Josefina López’s Real Women Have Curves, Act I (1996)
    • thirteen works representing various genres, including journalism (Rubén Salazar’s "La Nacha Sells Dirty Dope . . . ," 1955 and Gustavo Arellano’s ¡Ask a Mexican!, 2007), the historical narrative (Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca’s "How the Following Day They Brought Other Sick People," 1536), memoir (Domingo Martinez’s "The Mimis," 2012), the essay (Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s "Real-Life Border Thriller," 1996, and Michele Serros’s "Role Model Rule Number 1: Never Give Up an Opportunity to Eat for Free," 2000), and the editorial cartoon (Lalo Alcaraz’s La Cucaracha, 2004)
    • multiple works by fifteen individual authors, including Alurista, Angela de Hoyos, Carmen Tafolla, Gary Soto, and Ana Castillo, giving readers the opportunity to make connections among the literature and its themes and contexts

      The literature is accompanied by the following materials: 

      • Preceding each selection, a biographical note provides information about the author with key historical and cultural background that gives students context for their reading. An "As you read" prompt further prepares students to think and read critically and to get the most out of the literature.

      • Gloss notes provide translations from Spanish to English, right on the page where the terms appear, making the content accessible to a wide audience.

      • Following each selection, five types of questions address reading comprehension, critical thinking, connections with other works, and writing. A creativity prompt asks students to respond to the literature imaginatively and multimodally.

      • An Index of Authors and Titles and an Index of First Lines offer readers multiple entry points to the literature. Further, each selection is labeled according to its genre and original source, which give students a better understanding of what they’re reading. And the table of contents is annotated with key lines from each text.

        Brief, portable, and value-priced. This outstanding collection of Mexican American literature and thoughtful editorial support is a great value, with a price point much lower than that of comparable anthologies created for the course.

        A truly superb instructor’s manual--written for experts of and newcomers to--Mexican American Literature. Created by Diana López, a professor at the University of Houston-Victoria and colleague of Dagoberto Gilb at CentroVictoria, this companion text offers a thoughtful introduction to teaching the anthology, sample syllabi, and support for every selection in the book—including a synopsis of each reading, a list of teaching goals, additional questions (for before, during, and after reading) and prompts for discussion and writing, and a brief bibliography. The Index of Common Terms and Allusions in Mexican American Literature and the Bibliography for Further Reading at the back of the manual provide additional support. Instructor Resources for Mexican American Literature: A Portable Anthology is available as a PDF at