A Critic’s Journey


Paperback: 208 pages

Publishers Weekly
Stavans (On Borrowed Words) displays an admirably broad reach in these 33 essays (previously published mainly in the Nation and the Chronicle of Higher Education), most on Spanish-language fiction from Cervantes to Sandra Cisneros and José Saramago. Some essays discuss wider topics, including how Spanish spread among the Western Hemisphere’s largely Indian peoples. Exploring Jewish issues, Mexican-Jewish-American Stavans includes a particularly interesting piece on anti-Semitism in Latin America. His writing reflects his deep love of the creative imagination and is full of pungent observations, such as, “A vast majority [of humanities professors] make a profession of being pretentious.” Stavans’s own graceful writing exemplifies his definition of his craft: “The critic is a compass that helps one to navigate the cultural map.” (Jan.)
(Tags: Latin American Jews, Books)

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