Lyn Di Iorio at Public Books:
Before our eyes, US Latinx writers are inventing a new form of the novel. The classic bildungsroman, or novel of education and development, typically shows how a protagonist grows up and adapts to her world. Today, Latinx writers are writing their own versions of the bildungsroman, but with a twist. In novels like Angie Cruz’s Dominicana and Ernesto Quiñonez’s Taína, protagonists are educated not once, but twice: first, in mostly Spanish-speaking families and neighborhoods; and later, in the English-speaking society outside the home.
These two bildungsromans take place mostly in New York City, with Cruz’s Dominicana set in Washington Heights in the 1960s, and Quiñonez’s Taína set in Spanish Harlem in the 2000s.