Mexico has a rich literary heritage that extends back over centuries to the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. This major reference work surveys more than five hundred years of Mexican literature from a sociocultural perspective. More than merely a catalog of names and titles, it examines in detail the literary phenomena that constitute Mexico's most significant and original contributions to literature.
Recognizing that no one scholar can authoritatively cover so much territory, David William Foster has assembled a group of specialists, some of them younger scholars who write from emerging trends in Latin American and Mexican literary scholarship. The topics they discuss include pre-Columbian indigenous writing (Joanna O'Connell), Colonial literature (Lee H. Dowling), Romanticism (Margarita Vargas), nineteenth-century prose fiction (Mario Martín Flores), Modernism (Bart L. Lewis), major twentieth-century genres (narrative, Lanin A. Gyurko; poetry, Adriana García; theater, Kirsten F. Nigro), the essay (Martin S. Stabb), literary criticism (Daniel Altamiranda), and literary journals (Luis Peña). Each essay offers detailed analysis of significant issues and major texts and includes an annotated bibliography of important critical sources and reference works.