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Cover of "The Transitional Turn" featuring illustrations of women's faces
January 2019
University of Pittsburgh Press

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The Translational Turn

Latinx Literature into the Mainstream
Marta E. Sanchez

No contemporary development underscores the transnational linkage between the United States and Spanish-language America today more than the wave of in-migration from Spanish-language countries during the 1980s and 1990s. This development, among others, has made clear what has always been true, that the United States is part of Spanish-language America. Translation and oral communication from Spanish to English have been constant phenomena since before the annexation of the Mexican Southwest in 1848. The expanding number of counternational translations from English to Spanish of Latinx fictional narratives by mainstream presses between the 1990s and 2010 is an indication of significant change in the relationship. "The Translational Turn" explores both the historical reality of Spanish to English translation and the “new” counternational English to Spanish translation of Latinx narratives. More than theorizing about translation, this book underscores longstanding contact, such as code-mixing and bi-multilingualism, between the two languages in U.S. language and culture. Although some political groups in this country persist in seeing and representing this country as having a single national tongue and community, the linguistic ecology of both major cities and the suburban periphery, here and in the global world, is bilingualism and multilingualism.


Marta E. Sanchez was professor emerita of Chicano and Latino literature at University of California, San Diego, from1977 to 2004 and Arizona State University from 2004 to 2014.

Praise for this book

“An astute, timely, and ground-breaking contribution that brings Latino/a studies and translation studies together for the first time.”

Norma Klahn, University of California, Santa Cruz