LatinoLand: A Portrait of America's Largest and Least Understood Minority (Hardcover)

LatinoLand: A Portrait of America's Largest and Least Understood Minority By Marie Arana Cover Image
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“A perfect representation of Latino diversity” (The Washington Post), LatinoLand draws from hundreds of interviews and prodigious research to give us both a vibrant portrait and the little-known history of our largest and fastest-growing minority, in “a work of prophecy, sympathy, and courage” (Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize–winning author).

LatinoLand is an exceptional, all-encompassing overview of Hispanic America based on personal interviews, deep research, and Marie Arana’s life experience as a Latina. At present, Latinos comprise twenty percent of the US population, a number that is growing. By 2050, census reports project that one in every three Americans will claim Latino heritage.

But Latinos are not a monolith. They do not represent a single group. The largest groups are Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Salvadorans, and Cubans. Each has a different cultural and political background. Puerto Ricans, for example, are US citizens, whereas some Mexican Americans never immigrated because the US-Mexico border shifted after the US invasion of 1848, incorporating what is now the entire southwest of the United States. Cubans came in two great waves: those escaping communism in the early years of Castro, many of whom were professionals and wealthy, and those permitted to leave in the Mariel boat lift twenty years later, representing some of the poorest Cubans, including prisoners.

As LatinoLand shows, Latinos were some of the earliest immigrants to what is now the US—some of them arriving in the 1500s. They are racially diverse—a random infusion of white, Black, indigenous, and Asian. Once overwhelmingly Catholic, they are becoming increasingly Protestant and Evangelical. They range from domestic workers and day laborers to successful artists, corporate CEOs, and US senators. Formerly solidly Democratic, they now vote Republican in growing numbers. They are as culturally varied as any immigrants from Europe or Asia.

Marie Arana draws on her own experience as the daughter of an American mother and Peruvian father who came to the US at age nine, straddling two worlds, as many Latinos do. “Thorough, accessible, and necessary” (Ms. magazine), LatinoLand unabashedly celebrates Latino resilience and character and shows us why we must understand the fastest-growing minority in America.

About the Author

Marie Arana was born in Lima, Peru. She is the author of the memoir American Chica, a finalist for the National Book Award; two novels, Cellophane and Lima Nights; the prizewinning biography Bolivar; Silver, Sword, and Stone, a narrative history of Latin America; The Writing Life, a collection from her well-known column for The Washington Post; and LatinoLand. She is the inaugural Literary Director of the Library of Congress and lives in Washington, DC, and Lima, Peru.

Praise For…

LatinoLand aims to show that Latinos are as essential to the fabric of America as everyone else is, and it does so by deconstructing the most pervasive stereotypes around them.”
— Graciela Mochkofsky

"Arana [is] a keen observer of everything that the growth of Latino communities, and the outpouring of works by and about Latinos, has meant for the United States.. . . . [Her] beautifully written narrative, which washes over readers in a series of portraits, rather than as one continuous story, is a perfect representation of Latino diversity."
— Geraldo Cadava

“What brings [LATINOLAND] to life is the richness of voices and perspectives... Arana covers serious ground here in brisk, accessible prose.”
— Miguel Salazar

“Marie Arana has accomplished the herculean task of defining us as a community, meticulously separating the threads that unite as well as divide us. LatinoLand is a fascinating introduction for those who need to know us.  And—surprise—an especially illuminating read for those of us who thought we knew ourselves.”
— Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

"Acclaimed writer Marie Arana provides a comprehensive history of Latino communities in the U.S. that was long overdue. . . . She achieves a feat of exploration, explanation, storytelling and preservation that is thorough, accessible and necessary."
— Karla J. Strand

“As a Latina/Latinx/Hispanic/Dominican-America who has lived through six decades of identity iterations and labels on USA soil, I think I know myself and my story pretty well, but Marie Arana's magisterial Latinoland has enlarged my understanding, not just of myself, but of so many of us included under the one identity umbrella of Latinos. Comprehensive, thoroughly researched, balanced, generous and penetrating, Latinoland is destined to become the text we all turn and return to in understanding not just this country but our hemisphere.”
— Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and Afterlife 

“In a just world Marie Arana would be everyone’s favorite writer and her monumental LatinoLand would be everyone’s book of the year.  Arana has achieved the impossible - she has produced a searching, moving portrait of one of the most misunderstood and singularly important communities in our country. LatinoLand is indispensable, unforgettable. A work of prophecy, sympathy and courage.”   
— Junot Díaz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

“Unfolding across four hemispheres and dozens of nations, Marie Arana’s new book is a sweeping, comprehensive, and impassioned introduction to the centuries of history and activism that have given us the term ‘Latino.’” 
— Héctor Tobar, author of Our Migrant Souls

“Only Marie Arana could hold this infinitely complex, endlessly shifting subject in her mind, and then write a book that explains it all in language that is at the same time dazzlingly vibrant and surgically precise. Latinoland doesn’t just speak, it sings.”
— Candice Millard, author of River of the Gods and The River of Doubt

"An impressively wide-ranging overview of the turbulent history of Latine people in America. . . . Ably blends historical research with insightful anecdotes. . . . Arana has a fascinating, complex, and deeply personal story to tell, and she narrates it with abundant verve and intelligence."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Product Details
ISBN: 9781982184896
ISBN-10: 1982184892
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: February 20th, 2024
Pages: 576
Language: English