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Family, Friends and Foes

Human Dynamics in Hispanic Worlds

The Editor, Dr. Debra D. Andrist, Professor of Spanish at Sam Houston State University (SHSU), was multi-term founding chair of Foreign Languages there, former multi-term Chair of Modern & Classical Languages/Cullen Professor of Spanish at the University of St. Thomas/Houston (UST) and rose to Associate Professor of Spanish, Baylor University. Her scholarly work focuses on art and literature by and about women and medical topics.

Jigsaw puzzles’ notorious complexity and mega-multiple, amorphously-shaped pieces provide an appropriate metaphor for the navigating and maneuvering necessary throughout all aspects of human dynamics. Involvement comprises not only efforts by an individual personally trying to fit together a life of relationships with Family, Friends & Foes within complex categories and different levels, but the efforts by groups of individuals within those categories, progressively, by those groups within a larger society and/or societies, and then, across so many so-called boundaries: geographic, ethnic, linguistic, artistic and more. Such is the starting point for this particular collection of essays, which focuses on the human dynamics in cultures characterized, mostly linguistically, as Hispanic worlds, and those cultures both in real life and in terms of cultural productions such as movies, visual art and literature.

Unlike jigsaw puzzles with their convenient guiding box-cover representation of the finished “product” once the pieces are correctly assembled, human dynamics’ “pieces” are more like amoebas, ever changing size and shape, multiplying and dividing, sometimes fitting in with other pieces, sometimes not, sometimes overlapping—in short, frequently unpredictable and always challenging for the would-be “assembler(s).” Thus, the title of this book could easily morph ad infinitum with the three elements of Family, Friends, Foes reflecting an enormous and unwieldy range of relationship, emotion and viewpoint. Mixed messages abound. And as can be seen from the individual chapter titles and content so-called successful relationships may be fleeting or unattainable—or may match the imagined, hoped-for “picture” of a working relationship dynamic.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-943-2
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $69.95
Release Date: November 2018
Page Extent / Format: 280 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No



Part I. Introduction to Human Dynamics Issues
1. Cultural Expressions in The Rebel/La Rebelde by Leonor Villegas de Magnón, Norma Garza Mouton, PhD

Part II. Introduction to Family in the Arts & Life
2. Kitchen and Revolution: A Comparative Study of  the Mexican Film, "Como agua para chocolate, directed by Arau, and the Chinese film Drink, Eat, Man, Woman, directed by by Ang Lee, Haiqing Sun, PhD

3. Creation vs. Infertility in Picasso's Failed Marital Relationship, Enrique Mallén, PhD

4. Only a Name: A Family's Immigration Journeys, RoseMary Salum-Nemer, MA

Part III. Introduction to Friends, Friends & Foes: Mixed Messages
5. Friendship in the Italo-Hispanic Literary Tradition, Debra D. Andrist, PhD

6. Male and Female Friendship in the Quijote, reprint by permission from Cervantes, Vol. 3, No. Fall '83, 149-59. Print, Debra D. Andrist, PhD

7. Deceit Plus Desire Equals Diversion: Female Friendship in the Spanish Comedia, Debra D. Andrist, PhD

8. The Ephemeral Female Friends of Rosario Castellanos' Las amistades efímeras, Debra D. Andrist, PhD

9. From Foe to Friend to Family in the Klail City Death Trip: Why Noddy Perkins Wants to Be Buried in the Buenrostro Family Cemetery, Stephen J. Miller, PhD

10. Women and Society in the Novels of Mario Vargas, Jorge Chavarro, MD, MA

11. Ramón J. Sender's Sublime Visions of Freedom in Relatosfronterizos (1970, María Montserrat Feu-López, PhD

12. In This Madhouse: Myth, Message, and Kaleidoscopic Kin in Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Lauren Derby, MA

13. The Ominous Other in Lucia Berlin's Stories, Eduardo Cerdán



What a timely volume! Exploring family relationships and immigration, gender roles and human dynamics in art, literature and film, Family, Friends & Foes brings together leading experts on Latino studies who are adept in cross-cultural analysis. The product of this novel approach is new understanding about the relationship of life and art, often involving enlightening comparisons with Anglo-, Italo-, Arab- and Chinese-American cultural products. The essays provided are not just for academics and are easily digestible and enjoyable by the general public. Family, Friends & Foes is remarkable coup for Debra Andrist and her team.
Nicolás Kanellos, PhD, Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Studies
Director of Arte Público Press and Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage
University of Houston

At first glance, Family, Friends, and Foes offers numerous mystifying relationships that can only be uncovered and explained after a careful reading of the text. These essays describe multiple sets/groupings, ethnicities, and even the crossing of boundaries within those sets/subsets which focus on the human dynamics in the cultures exemplified, predominantly linguistically, as Hispanic worlds. Therefore, geographical boundaries are traversed as well to display/illustrate the cultural intricacies. The book is a textual Rubik’s cube that the reader solves as s/he examines the essays collected in Family, Friends, and Foes. It should be noted that there are also chapters contrasting the Hispanic with other cultures: Anglo, Arabic, and Chinese.
Genaro J. Pérez, PhD Professor of Spanish, Texas Tech University

The collection of essays in Family, Friends & Foes offers readers remarkable insights into the dynamics of human relationships in the Hispanic worlds. Topics ranging from the immigration experience to the role of friendship reflect the compelling complexities of human interactions as expressed through the lives of artists and through their artistic, cinematic, and literary creations.
Kimberly Habegger
Professor of Spanish/Chair of Languages
Regis University

Debra Andrist’s Friends, Family and Foes: Human Dynamics in Hispanic Worlds is a collection of original analyses of the dynamics that play out in Hispanic cultures, diverse as either the dynamics or cultures may be, particularly as represented in film, art and literature. One of Andrist´s own chapters, on interlocking triangles á la René Girard’s theories in Tirso de Molina’s Don Gil de las calzas verdes, offers unique insight into issues of desire and rivalry vis à vis positions of power--or the lack thereof. Friends, Family and Foes is a must read for anyone interested in the intersections of human interactions in Hispanic cultures and the art forms that represent them.
Gwendolyn Díaz
Professor of English
Director of Graduate Studies
St. Mary’s University

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