Review by Choice Review
This excellent book focuses on ``a new pantheon of letters,'' the literature of those developing countries in which writers have participated in the struggle to overcome political and cultural domination by colonial powers. Given the vastness of the field, no such book could be exhaustive, but Harlow (University of Texas, Austin) selects texts that are representative of the most important issues, and she handles them deftly. She presents a panoramic view of such writing, ranging from Latin America to the Middle East and from Africa to Pakistan. Every reader will discover works previously unknown: El Salvador's Roque Dalton, the Baluch poet Balach Khan, and Lebanon's Elian Khoury emerge as three of the most impressive. Harlow argues convincingly that critical theories and attitudes developed in the course of studying canonical Western works are inadequate for the study of these texts; the best of them are in no sense undercut by their overtly political content, just as the more banal among them cannot be vindicated by the justice of the causes they advocate. While there are other books on a few of the authors discussed here (e.g., Keith Ellis's Cuba's Nicolas Guillen: Poetry and Ideology (CH, Dec '83), no volume now available presents such an informative overview and analysis. Essential for upper-level undergraduate libraries and for graduate libraries.-K. Tololyan, Wesleyan University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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