En(countering) YA: Young Lords, shadowshapers, and the longings and possibilities of Latinx young adult literature
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Recent Latinx young adult literature (YA) serves as a window into how authors narrate the promises and failures of cultural nationalism of past generations and how they imagine youth participating in revolutionary practices today, including accessing alternative forms of literature and education beyond established academia. This article places YA in its context as a US tradition in which authors have expressed particular notions about the adolescent as a subject in relation to social, state, and family structures. For example, Latinx YA, as an alternative to standard Anglo stories, which founded the medium in the United States, presents adult–child relationships as a kind of intergenerational activist legacy. Employing Richard Delgado‘s concept of counter-storytelling, and drawing on Ramón Saldívar‘s ideas about historical fantasy, this essay analyzes current Latinx literature for youth, centralizing the work of Sonia Manzano in historical fiction and Daniel José Older in urban fantasy.
KeywordsYoung adult literature Latinx literature Ethnic studies The Young Lords Party Sonia Manzano Daniel José Older Cultural nationalism Puerto Rico Counter-storytelling
The author wishes to thank William Orchard, Natalie Havlin, Kelly Krietz and Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez of the Colloquium for the Study of Latino/a Culture and Theory at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, for their helpful comments during revision.
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