Ilan Stavans

Ilan Stavans was born in Mexico in 1961 to an Eastern European Jewish family. In 1985, after a sojourn in Spain, he moved to the United States and began writing while taking a doctorate from Columbia University. The past decade has established him as a distinguished Latino critic, editor and author. Currently he is a professor of Latin American and Latino Cultures at Amherst College. His published work, translated into several languages, includes The Hispanic Condition; On Borrowed Words: A Memoir of Language; The Essential Ilan Stavans; and The One-Handed Pianist and Other Stories. He is the editor of The Oxford Book of Jewish Stories and The Oxford Book of Latin American Essays. Stavans has been a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee and the recipient of the Latino Literature Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other honors.

2003 saw the publication of the controversial Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language, a pan-Hispanic socio-linguistic reference work which includes a vibrant introductory essay examining the historical context of Spanglish, a lexicon of 4,500 words, and Stavans’ Spanglish translation of the first chapter of Don Quijote de La Mancha. (2009)

Ilan Stavans's page at Amherst College



May 4, 2009
 audio icon audio icon






IHS Speaker  
IHS Event IHS Event
IHS Speaker