Latino Heretics

Edited by Tony Diaz

Latino Heretics, by Tony Diaz (FC2, 1999)

Quality Paper
ISBN 978-1-57366-077-8

Dedicated to the memory of the late Omar Castañeda, this collection of radical writings crosses the boundary of that which cannot be said.

The work of Omar Castañeda epitomized the new era of Latino writing that combined heart and art: hyper-arte and hyper-corazon. This anthology fulfills his vision of a collection of fiction and cross-genre prose by contemporary Latino/a writers on “unspeakable” topics.

These works upset and disturb the gentlemans agreement upon which some of the current politics of Latino identity are precariously based. These works also attain a new level of craft, a high style of writing to topple the current politics of aesthetics that threaten to oppress all writers.

New pieces by Judith Ortiz Cofer, Lionel G. Garcia, Stephen Gutierrez, MacArthur Fellow Luis Alfaro, and scriptwriter Rick Najera join the voices of newcomers and never-before-released work of the late Castañeda.

Every entry catches the High Style of new thoughts, new forms, and killer prose that simultaneously sabotages the politics of the English and Spanglish languages. This writing brings together art and politics, and unites the best of several possible worlds under the Latino canopy of multi-multi-culturalism, an exponential-culturalism.


The “Latino heretics” whose short works are collected here, live along the borders of language between Spanish and English, poetry and prose, command and obey. They want power over words — to define “Latino” in their own terms, for instance — and they what words to overpower them. Untamed and roiling, Latino Heretics is a fine introduction to many unfamiliar writers.

Village Voice Literary Supplement


Diaz brings together a new collection of thought-provoking fiction. Latino Heretics works hard at giving us clear glimpses into very original voices. The beauty of this volume, and this is where Tony Diaz has a great ear and eye for finding talent, is the new voices he’s included. We need more books like this. [It is] necessary, extremely accessible, and simply, [an] excellent and fun read.

Virgil Suarez, The Tallahassee Democrat


Tony Diaz is the winner of the 1998 Nilon Award for Excellence in Minority Fiction, and the creator of Nuestra Palabra, which promotes Latino literature and literacy through workshops, readings, and book fairs. He is the host of the Nuestra Palabra Radio Show on 90.1 FM, KPFT. His FC2 books include Latino Heretics and The Aztec Love God.