"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sandra Cisneros is a Sellout!: Our Love Hate Relationship with Successful Chicano Writers, Part III

Note: Please read parts I and II of this post below

Waiting for the Fall

But what is it with us that we begin to hate our successful writers after supporting them through their careers as young writers up until they made the big time. It’s true, and I admit, there are many big egos made and even big egos made by those who haven’t made the big time -- but think they have.

However, don’t we want our authors to make it into the “mainstream,” the “big time”?

I think our dissing them once they make it is the American in us.

Chicano writers and activism

But Ray, you way, Sandra, or this writer, and that one, never comes to our rallies, we never see him yelling “si se puede.” First, that would be incorrect. Many of our writers do come to our community activist events. But others would say that when our famous writers go to rallies and the like, they are mobbed by the fans, somewhat taking away from the goal of the rally. When you’ve achieved such status as some writers have, this happens frequently.

So there are no real answers here and I do not have many solutions.

But looking back at many of the Chicana writers back in the day, for those of us who were in elementary school in the 1980s, Cisneros was probably the first Chicano(a) writer we read. In fact, aside, from an excerpt of Ernesto Galarza’s Barrio Boy in our literature anthology, the excerpt of House was the only Chicano(a) lit I was exposed to in elementary school.

Back to today

But again, in my opinion, the best Chicana writing today is being put out by smaller presses. This is especially true of the poets. And we thought poetry was dead. Then again, the big presses hardly touch poetry.

So am I dissing the “successful” writers? I don’t know. I just always root for the small guy or gal.

As a critic, looking at many of the books written today, I am still apt to choose not releasing a bad book review to a publication and only letting the good reviews out. I guess that is my weakness as a critic. I frequently leave books half finished because I cannot bare to read them.

I will have more to write about this later. I know what you’re saying. You are probably comparing me to the caveman in Mel Brook’s History of the World, Part I pissing on the wall drawing at the Vallon-Pont-d'Arc caves in what is now France. I tell you, my bladder is frequently full.

The other topic I have to write about is this: “Are many of our new writers who are getting big book deals, slipping into oblivion after their fist book is published?” I guess Cisneros would be a testament contrary to that statement. She’s not a new writers, but nevertheless, her popularity had endured. Again, are/am we/I dissing our successful writers?

We love them while they are new and struggling, up-and-coming, but our love sours and grows cold when they become successful.

In a way looking at some Chicana and Latina writers being published big time, I’m sometimes saying to myself, “Bring back Sandra! Hurry up Denise, put out another book! (oh yea, she just did), Ana Castillo we need more?” Now there are some exceptions so don’t jump on me. There are even some deserving Chicano writers who are publishing big. The other strange thing is that Chavez and Castillo chose not to publish in New York for their last books. So what is happening?

Sell outs. Vendidos. Successes and unsuccesses. Mainstream or downstream, in conclusion, I guess the only thing that is 100% SELLING OUT are Cisneros books?

Texas Store Owner takes Samaniego to Court

Texas Store owner harassed by Sheriff for warning of Minutemen

KTSM - El Paso
December 5, 2007

The Paso del Norte Civil Rights Group decided to help Jose Rodriguez, because they say his case is a prime example of someone's constitutional rights being violated. Back in November, Sheriff's deputies cited Rodriguez for posting signs on a pole outside his store in San Elizario. One warned
people of upcoming roadblocks and the other spoke out against 'Minutemen'. Sheriff's deputies gave Rodriguez a ticket for the unauthorized use of City property to post them. However, Paso del Norte says this case violates his right to free speech, and is actually part of a bigger problem of deputies harassing people who can't defend themselves. In a written statement we received from the Sheriff's Office, they declined to comment on this case due to pending litigation. Rodriguez's court date is coming up later this month,,,


New Books from the University of Texas Press

Alla en el Rancho Grande. Here's a new one from U of Texas Press: Remembering the Hacienda: Religion, Authority, and Social Change inHighland Ecuador, Lyon. A pathfinding study of how indigenous peasants experienced, responded to, and remember the often-harsh conditions of servitude in Ecuador's

Schlatter, Aryan Cowboys: White Supremacists and the Search for a New Frontier, 1970?2000

A startling analysis of how modern white supremacists have co-opted the mythology and environment of the American West to position their cause among historically American ideals.


Hernandez Castillo, and Stephen, Dissident Women: Gender and Cultural Politics in Chiapas

In this timely ethnographic study, nine Mexican and U.S. anthropologistsexamine the achievements of and challenges facing women participating inthe Zapatista movement .


Brown, Maxwell, and Little, La utz awach?: Introduction to Kaqchikel Maya Language

An innovative language-learning guide that will help students,researchers, and professionals in many fields quickly develop basic communication skills in one of the four major Mayan languages.


A Christmas Carol in Spanish

Though the Kansas City Repertory Theatre's A Christmas Carol is a long-established Kansas City tradition, there is a new way to experience the show that will be of interest to Spanish-speaking audiences.

by Steve Walker A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens - directed by Linda Ade Brand
Spencer Theatre-4949 Cherry Street
Nov. 18-Dec. 24, 2006
26th Annual Production!

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