Ilan Stavans on His New Books, Latino Life at Amherst and Beyond
Submitted on Friday, 4/27/2012, at 12:30 PM
Interview by Peter Rooney
Ilan Stavans, described by his father in his most recent book as “muy prolífico,” is certainly living up to that billing this month.
Return to Centro Histórico: A Mexican Jew Looks for His Roots (Rutgers), a photo-laden personal exploration of Mexico City’s downtown area, has just been published, along with the 15th anniversary edition of Latino USA: A Cartoon History (Basic Books), updated with a new chapter. Not to be overlooked is the paperback release of The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry (FSG), a compilation of verse in Spanish and English, with Stavans as editor and Amherst College poet Richard Wilbur among the translators. Stavans also is preparing an exhibition about his fotonovela Once@9:53am, an account of a devastating 1994 terrorist attack against the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 and left hundreds injured. That exhibit opens Sunday, April 29, at The National Yiddish Book Center (1021 West Street in Amherst).
Stavans Co-Authors New Book on Hispanic Identity
Submitted on Wednesday, 10/12/2011, at 2:30 PM
By William Sweet
Ilan Stavans, Amherst’s Lewis-Sebring professor in Latin American and Latino Culture, grew up Jewish in Mexico, but it took moving to New York in the mid-1980s for him to identify as a Mexican and, by extension, a Hispanic. He acknowledges that some people might bristle at the notion of a Yiddish-speaking grandson of Eastern European Jews asserting his hispanidad—his Hispanic identity.