A vivid account of the literary culture of the Spanish-speaking Americas from the time of Columbus to Latin American Independence, this Very Short Introduction explores the origins of Latin American literature in Spanish and tells the story of how Spanish literary language developed and flourished in the New World. A leading scholar of colonial Latin American literature, Rolena Adorno examines the writings that debated the justice of the Spanish conquests, described the novelties of New World nature, expressed the creativity of Hispanic baroque culture in epic, lyric, and satirical poetry, and anticipated Latin American Independence. The works of Spanish, creole, and Amerindian authors highlighted here, including Bartolome de las Casas, Felipe Guaman Poma, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, and Andres Bello, have been chosen for the merits of their writings, their participation in the larger literary and cultural debates of their times, and their resonance among readers today. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of lifes most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.