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Professor Brings The Mexican Crack Writers to Life in New Book

 |  Annabelle Hale  | Department of Foreign languages and Literatures

One of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures own has recently become a third-time published author. Héctor Jaimes, a professor of Latin American Literature and Culture and the Spanish Language, has been a member of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at North Carolina State University for the past twenty years. Jaimes recently published the anthology, The Mexican Crack Writers: History and Criticism, which stands alone as the first scholarly book about a literary group that defined a whole generation of Latin American writers.

jaimes book

Professor Héctor Jaimes. Photo Hiral Patel.

The Mexican Crack Writers serves to bring this influential literary group to light, and be a resource to those interested in contemporary Latin American literature. “Through the years they developed quite a body of literature, and it occurred to me that it was about time to put together a collection of essays with different scholars,” Jaimes says in a recent interview. He edited the book and authored the introductory chapter. “My work as a professor at NC State requires substantial research, and research means publication,” he added when discussing his motivations to bring this his sixth scholarly book to life. 

It all started, as he explains in the Introduction of the book, last year when he organized a “creative conversation” during the 2016 Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference. Three of the original five Crack writers were present during the event in 2016, and the book grew out of several formal and informal conversations that followed suit.

The book is organized in two parts. The history of the group is analyzed in the first part along with a discussion of the relation to literary tradition within the Latin American culture. The second part of the book is what makes it a truly unique and rich source of information about Latin American literature and history. This section provides a complete critical analysis of the works of the leading authors of the Mexican Crack Writers; Ricardo Chávez Castañeda, Ignacio Padilla, Pedro Ángel Palou, Eloy Urroz and Jorge Volpi. This is the first type of analysis on this subject to be published, putting this publication at the forefront of current available literature on the Crack writers.

The appendix includes the two group manifestos: the Crack Manifesto, and the Crack Post Manifesto. It also provide readers with an inside look to the ideals that this prominent group was created upon, and what these writers stood for.

NC State students will have the opportunity to use this text as a resource in courses taught at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. 

To find out more about The Mexican Crack Writers, check out this free preview.

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