As Teresa Longo’s groundbreaking examination reveals, North America’s dissident literature has its roots in the Latin American literary tradition. From Pablo Neruda’s Canto General to Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America to Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude—among others—contemporary writers throughout the Americas have forced us to reconsider the United States’s relationship with Latin America, and more broadly with the Global South. Highlighting the importance of reading and re-reading the Latin American canon in the United States, Longo finds that literature can be an instrument of progressive social change, and argues that small literary presses—City Lights, Curbstone, and Seven Stories—have made that dissent visible in the United States. In the book’s final two chapters on the Robert F. Kennedy Center’s Speak Truth to Power initiative and the publication of Marc Falkoff’s Poems from Guantánamo, the author turns our attention further outward, probing the role poetry, theater, and photography play in global human rights work.
Locating the work of artists and writers alongside that of scholars and legal advocates, Visible Dissent not only unveils the staying-power of committed writing, it honors the cross-currents and the on-the-ground implications of humane political engagement.
“‘Pockets’ is one of the brilliant leitmotivs in Longo’s Visible Dissent, to celebrate small presses and their great writers. Triangular spaces for misfits—like the liberating wedges Freire drove into clogged education—spark re-readings of Latin Americans who ignite lasting change of hearts and minds.”—Doris Sommer, author, The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities
“Longo conceptualizes America in a comprehensive sense and has a wonderful ability to make connections among a range of texts and authors not often read together, creating a dialogue that needs to be heard. Visible Dissent provides information about the powers of small presses and how their publishing choices have structured the creation of transnational communities, extending the reach of literary studies in an original way. Bringing intriguing new angles to the works she studies, Longo’s book is an exciting addition to recent transdisciplinary conversations.”—Jill S. Kuhnheim, author, Beyond the Page: Poetry and Performance in Spanish America