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Ithaca High School AP Spanish: A Research Guide (Spring 2018): Background

Where and how to find criticism and background information on authors writing in Spanish. Click on the blue TABS to see individual sections.

Reference Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Use reference books to find background information on the writer you are reading and studying. The articles in reference books often list additional books and articles selected to provide further information and other perspectives.


Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online. Detroit: Gale Research, 1978- .
(Online. Complete print set shelved in the Willis Room, Uris Library Reference PS 129 .D55)

Provides nearly 12,000 biographical and critical essays on the lives, works, and careers of the world's most influential literary figures from all eras and genres.


Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean Literature, 1900-2003. Edited by Daniel Balderston and Mike Gonzalez. New York Routledge, 2004.
(Olin Library Reference PQ 7081 .A1 .E558 2004)

A companion volume to the next title, focused specifically on writers, novelists, poets, playwrights, critics, and journalists. Solid bibliographies of further reading with each entry.


Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. Edited by Verity Smith. 2nd ed. 6 vols. Detroit: Scribners, 2008.
(Online. Print volumes in Olin Library Reference F 1406 .E53 2008)

A comprehensive, multidisciplinary view of Latin American history and culture from prehistoric times to the present. Covers cultural issues and includes numerous biographical profiles of important figures in politics, letters and the arts.


Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature. Edited by Verity Smith. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
(Olin Library Reference PQ 7081 .A1 E56x 1997 +)

Entries on writers, works, and topics relating to the literature of Latin America, including survey articles on individual countries. Each entry consists of a signed critical overview of the writer's literary work written by an expert in the field; a brief biographical sketch, a select list of the writer's works, a list of further reading, and in some cases, one or more essays on individual literary works.


Latin American Writers. Carlos A. Solé, editor in chief. New York: Scribners, 1989.
(Uris Library Reference PQ 7081 .A1 L37 1989) [shelved in the Willis Room]

A collection of excellent bio-critical essays on Latin American writers by scholars from the U.S., Latin America, and Europe. It includes over 176 chroniclers, novelists, poets, journalists, and playwrights from the 16th century to the present in a 3-volume set. Entries are arranged chronologically by writer's date of birth.


Literature Resource Center.
(Online only)

A complete literature database combining biographical, bibliographical, and contextual information on authors and their works.


Oxford Language Dictionaries Online.

An authoritative online bilingual dictionary for Spanish and English (as well as Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian).

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