Tropical Kitsch: Mass Media in Latin American Art and Literature

Named the Best Book on Brazilian Studies 2006 by the Latin American Studies Association

“Santos takes a keen look at the way mass culture has influenced artistic production in Latin America during the past 40 years. Santos maintains that the use of kitsch, camp, and cursi (‘ostentatious’) devices by certain writers and artists in the form of mass media products like romance novels, radio and telenovelas, tangos and boleros, and ’40s and ’50s U.S. films, has helped them surpass realism …

“Santos explores the social and political implications of art, music, and literature by using theoretical frameworks of cultural studies and queer theory. The author provides a detailed table of contents with extensive notes, a bibliography, a discography, an appendix with song lyrics, and b&w images. This ambitious and fascinating work is also a wonderful read. In addition to being an academic, Santos is a creative writer with two books of short stories published, and her writing skills are fully in place here. A significant contribution to the study of Latin American literature and art, queer studies, and cultural studies, this book is highly recommended for academic libraries.”
— Críticas

Lidia Santos (CUNY, formerly of Yale University) is the author of two books of short stories and numerous scholarly works. She has also received the RFI/Guimarães Rosa Prize for Portuguese language.