Winner, A Choice Outstanding Academic Book Literature in Latin America has long been a vehicle for debates over the interpretation of social history, cultural identity, and artistic independence. Indeed, Latin American literature has gained international respect for its ability to present social criticism through works of imaginative creation. In this comprehensive, up-to-the-minute survey of research and opinion by leading Latin American cultural and literary critics, Naomi Lindstrom examines five concepts that are currently the focus of intense debate among Latin American writers and thinkers. Writing in simple, clear terms for both general and specialist readers of Latin American literature, she explores the concepts of autonomy and dependency, postmodernism, literary intellectuals and the mass media, testimonial literature, and gender issues, including gay and lesbian themes. Excerpts (in English) from relevant literary works illustrate each concept, while Lindstrom also traces its passage from the social sciences to literature.