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SPA258H: Introduction to Hispanic Literary Studies

Research tools, resources, and strategies for the students enrolled in the course during the 2023–2024 academic year, taught by Professor Sanda Munjic.

Literary Guides, Companions, & Casebooks

Purpose of Literary Guides, Handbooks & Companions

Consulting a literary guide will help you understand the plot, characterization, themes, the use of literary devices in the works of fiction under study, in addition to the cultural significance of the text and its place in the literary canon.

Allende, Isabel

Cox, Karen Castellucci. Isabel Allende: A Critical CompanionGreenwood Press, 2003.Isabel Allende: A Critical Companion
Introduces readers to Allende’s writings with accessible literary analysis of her six novels, featuring discussions of plot, character development, thematic concerns and style, historical contexts, and alternative critical perspectives.

Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Isabel Allende: A Literary Companion. McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013.
Provides is a guided overview of Allende’s body of work. It consists of an alphabetized, fully-annotated listing of major terms in the Allende canon, including fictional characters, motifs, historical events and themes.

Rodden, John, ed. Isabel Allende. Salem Press, 2011.
Assesses the phases of Allende’s literary career and her growth as a writer. Four introductory essays provide a valuable framework for studying her in greater depth. The main section of the book includes ten in-depth essays that offer an examination of all aspects of the author. All essays include an extensive bibliography with additional sources on Allende and her work.

Borges, Jorge Luis

Williamson, Edwin. The Cambridge Companion to Jorge Luis Borges. Cambridge University Press, 2013.
A comprehensive, introductory analysis of Borges’s body of work and the evolution of his writing. It offers critical assessments by leading scholars of the poetry of his youth and the later poetry and fiction, as well as of the “canonical” volumes of the middle years. Other chapters focus on key themes and interests, and on his influence in literary theory and translation studies.

Márquez, Gabriel García

Cambridge Companion to Gabriel García MárquezStavans, Ilan, ed. Gabriel Garcia Márquez. Salem Press, 2010.
Presents varying perspectives on the writer, his work and its lasting importance.

Swanson, Philip, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Gabriel Garciá Márquez. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Includes new and probing readings of all of Márquez’s works, by leading international specialists. His life in Colombia, the context of Latin American history and culture, key themes in his works and their critical reception are explored in detail. Also contains a chronology and a guide to further reading.

Stavans, Ilan, ed. One Hundred Years of Solitude. Salem Press, 2011.
This collection of essays examine the political, social, and literary contexts in which García Márquez wrote, and evaluates the reputation of One Hundred Years of Solitude as a classic novel in a survey of the formative critical responses to it. A variety of critical readings on the themes of the pursuit of knowledge, natural and human-made disasters, and translation continue the discussion.

Additional Resources

Literature Resource Center
Full-text literary criticism and reviews of the novels (and many others literary and poetic works), in addition to biographical information on authors and overviews of their works. An excellent, comprehensive online resource for all students of literature, poetry, and drama.