Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Taking Their Word

Literature and the Signs of Central America

2007
Author:

Arturo Arias

Taking Their Word

Gives voice to the unique literature and culture of Central America.

In Taking Their Word, Arias complicates notions of the cultural production of Central America. Arias demonstrates that Central America and its literature are marked by an indigenousness that has never before been fully theorized or critically grasped. With this groundbreaking work, Arias establishes the importance of Central American literature and provides a frame for future studies of the region’s culture.

This is a major contribution to the study of Central American literature, a woefully understudied area. The results will be of widespread interest to scholars of Latin American, cultural, postcolonial, and subaltern studies.

Cynthia Steele, University of Washington

Central Americans are one of the largest Latino population groups in the United States. Yet, Arturo Arias argues, the cultural production of Central Americans remains little known to North Americans.

In Taking Their Word, Arias complicates notions of the cultural production of Central America, from Mexico in the North to Panama in the South. He charts the literature of Central America’s liberation struggles of the 1970s and 1980s, its transformation after peace treaties were signed, the emergence of a new Maya literature that decenters Latin American literature written in Spanish, and the rise and fall of testimonio. Arias demonstrates that Central America and its literature are marked by an indigenousness that has never before been fully theorized or critically grasped. Never one to avoid controversy, Arias proffers his views of how the immigration of Central Americans to North America has changed the cultural topography of both zones.

With this groundbreaking work, Arias establishes the importance of Central American literature and provides a frame for future studies of the region’s culture.

Taking Their Word

Arturo Arias is director of Latin American studies at the University of Redlands in California. He is the author or editor of several books, including The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy (University of Minnesota Press, 2001).

Taking Their Word

This is a major contribution to the study of Central American literature, a woefully understudied area. The results will be of widespread interest to scholars of Latin American, cultural, postcolonial, and subaltern studies.

Cynthia Steele, University of Washington

Taking Their Word will serve as the indispensable reference for Central American literary studies in the years to come.

Marc Zimmerman, author of Literatura y testimonio en Centro-América

This is a landmark volume of enormous scope. He examines not merely whether Central American literature can be defined in regional terms but also what appeal this largely ignored body of fiction holds for a broader audience. Arias’s probing insights continue to be the consummate treatment of this topic. This volume is sure to prove an indispensable resource

Choice