NOCHE BUENA by Nicholas Kanellos


Hispanic American Christmas Stories
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Editor Kanellos, founder of The Americas Review as well as Arte Público Press, offers a compendium of 36 pieces from Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, and Puerto Rico—a collection celebrating al Hijo de Dios in highly literary ways, including stories, songs, and a play in verse. All verse is joined by its original Spanish text. The play is Los Pastores (The Shepherds), a long, anonymous Mexican miracle play of the Nativity that has been handed down since the 16th century, and gained by being dictated to, and memorized by, semiliterate, rural Mexicans to perform from memory as a community pageant in villages all over Mexico. “A Brand New Memory” is a charmingly up-to-date look at today's Christmas presents in Hispanic families, in an excerpt from The Greatest Performance, a novel by Cuban exile and immigrant Elias Miguel Muñoz. “Legend of the Poinsettia,” by Pat Mora and Charles Ramírez Berg, tells of a child's tears turning the leaves of a poinsettia brilliant red. As might be expected, a superb Christmas book worthy its publisher and its subject, something that can’t be said for all holiday books this season.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-19-513527-X
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Oxford Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2000