Cristina García Analysis

Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Cristina García is known primarily for her novels, but she has also written two children’s books—The Dog Who Loved the Moon and I Wanna Be Your Shoebox—both illustrated works and published in 2008. She also has edited two books: Cubanisimo! The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature (2003) and Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicana/o Literature (2006).


(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Cristina García is the first Cuban American to write a novel in English. Dreaming in Cuban introduced a fresh voice to the growing field of multicultural literature and became a National Book Award finalist. García received several other prestigious awards, including a Hodder Fellowship (Princeton University, 1992-1993), a Cintas Fellowship (Institute for International Education, 1992-1993), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1994), and a Whiting Writers Award (1996). Though Dreaming in Cuban remains García’s most popular work, her other novels have received favorable attention as well. The Agüero Sisters, chosen as recommended reading by Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year award in 1997, and was listed among the American Library Association’s Notable Books (1998).

Monkey Hunting marks a widening horizon for García, as she focuses on the often overlooked Chinese presence in Cuba. In 2008, she received the Northern California Book Award in Fiction for her fourth novel, A Handbook to Luck.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Alvarez-Borland, Isabel. “Displacements and Autobiography in Cuban-American Fiction.” World Literature Today 68 (Winter, 1994): 43. Compares García with two other Cuban American writers, Omar Torres and Pablo Medina, and looks at the semi-autobiographical nature of their novels.

Davis, Rocio G. “Back to the Future: Mothers, Languages, and Homes in Cristina García’s Dreaming in Cuban.” World Literature Today 74 (Winter, 2000): 60-68. Explores the complicated negotiations of mother-daughter bonds in García’s novel.

Firmat, Gustavo Paerez. Life on the Hyphen: The Cuban-American Way. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994. Sets García’s work in the context of Cuban American popular culture.

Payant, Katherine B. “From Alienation to Reconciliation in the Novels of Cristina García.” MELUS 26 (Fall, 2001): 163-182. Discusses the political dimension of García’s novels.

Stefanko, Jacqueline. “New Ways of Telling: Latinas’ Narratives of Exile and Return.” Frontiers 17, no. 2 (1996): 50-69. Looks at works by Julia Alvarez, Cristina García, Rosario Morales, and Aurora Levins Morales in analyzing the ways in which these authors reject the notion of a unitary, synthesizing narrator.