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Latino Los Angeles in Film and Fiction
The Cultural Production of Social Anxiety
By Ignacio López-Calvo
264 pp. / 6.00 in x 9.00 in / 2011
Paper (978-0-8165-3104-2) [s]
Related Interest
  - Literature and Essays
  - Latina and Latino Studies

Los Angeles has long been a place where cultures clash and reshape. The city has a growing number of Latina/o authors and filmmakers who are remapping and reclaiming it through ongoing symbolic
With this study, López-Calvo reconfigures the field of Latino studies, using Los Angeles as an example of how unresolved transnational dynamics, dating back to the Spanish occupation and the Mexican -American War, continue to impact Latino identities and communities.


Latino Los Angeles in Film and Fiction places Chicano and Latino culture under an illuminating spotlight…Lopez-Calvo's book is a superb example of contemporary culturalwriting, avant-garde and challenging in its own right…terse, systematic, poignant

– David Lau, BOOM

For the many AATSP members who have already begun to include the Hispanic United States as a component in Bilingual and Multicultural Studies programs, or who wish to do so, Latino Los Angeles in Film and Fiction helps us expand our horizons by identifying key texts that graphically portray life and death in the largest urban concentration of Hispanic origin people in the United States

– Project Muse

A lively, accessible, and engaging survey of the Latina/o imaginary in Los Angeles fiction and film.

—George Lipsitz, author of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics

A wonderful, at times revelatory, reconstruction of the debate about the meaning and future of Los Angeles.

—Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz: Excavating the Future Los Angeles

appropriation. In this illuminating book, Ignacio López-Calvo foregrounds the emotional experiences of authors, implicit authors, narrators, characters, and readers in order to demonstrate that the evolution of the imaging of Los Angeles in Latino cultural production is closely related to the politics of spatial location. This spatial-temporal approach, he writes, reveals significant social anxieties, repressed rage, and deep racial guilt.

Latino Los Angeles in Film and Fiction sets out to reconfigure the scope of Latino literary and cultural studies. Integrating histories of different regions and nations, the book sets the interplay of unresolved contradictions in this particular metropolitan area. The novelists studied here stem from multiple areas, including the U.S. Southwest, Guatemala, and Chile. The study also incorporates non-Latino writers who have contributed to the Latino culture of the city.

The first chapter examines Latino cultural production from an ecocritical perspective on urban interethnic relations. Chapter 2 concentrates on the representation of daily life in the barrio and the marginalization of Latino urban youth. The third chapter explores the space of women and how female characters expand their area of operations from the domestic space to the public space of both the barrio and the city.

A much-needed contribution to the fields of urban theory, race critical theory, Chicana/o-Latina/o studies, and Los Angeles writing and film, López-Calvo offers multiple theoretical perspectives—including urban theory, ecocriticism, ethnic studies, gender studies, and cultural studies— contextualized with notions of transnationalism and post-nationalism.

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