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

Octavio Romano

Monday, May 17, 2010

More Chicano, Chicana, Latino, Latina new books in May 2010

Folks, here are some more new book coming out in May. I left out some books with an El Paso or Las Cruces connections, which I will focus on later this week.


Wings Press has put out A Tuesday Like Today (Wings Press 978091672747) by Cecilia Urbina. It is a translation of Un martes como hoy.

Mexico's Premio Coatlicue
Nominated for the IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award for works making "a lasting contribution to excellence in world literature."

During an almost accidental vacation in the Cambodian jungle, two sisters, Camila and Márgara, meet another wanderer, David Masters-Iturbe. They discover that they all have something in common – their Mexican heritage. Like benighted travelers from other times and places, the three proceed to tell stories in order to alleviate the boredom of long nights in their jungle hotel.

Employing a twist of magical realism and a dash of cowboy-movie bravado, they end up constructing an imagined past for the sisters' ancestors that may be more than a metaphor for their own reality.

With the horrors of Pol Pot's legacy outside their windows and a suave young man full of his own mysteries at the piano, Camila and Márgara must determine whether they are in the hands of random chance or destiny. 

Cecilia Urbina was born in Mexico City, where she grew up and now resides. She studied English and French literature at the Sorbonne and Cambridge University.

She is the Coordinator of the Literature Department at Casa Lamm, where she teaches literature and creative writing. Her fields of study are contemporary British authors and postcolonial literature.

She has written extensively in newspapers and cultural magazines. She has published six novels, including Firme compañera (Tava, 1994), La imaginación de Roger Donal (Sansores & Aljure, 1998), De noche llegan (Times Editores, 1999), and Un martes como hoy (Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2004), as well as a book of essays on contemporary writers, De escritos y escritores (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, 2001).

In 2008, Cecilia Urbina received the prestigious Premio Coatlicue in recognition of De noche llegan and Un martes como hoy.  She is married, and has three children.

Cristina Garcia has put out 
The Lesser Tragedy of Death: poems by Cristina Garcia 
(Akashicbooks ISBN-13: 978-1-933354-01-5).

Forthcoming May 

Cristina Garcia is the author of several novels including Dreaming in Cuban and A Handbook to Luck, anthologies, and books for young readers. The Lesser Tragedy of Death is her first collection of poetry. Garcia's work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into a dozen languages. She is a Visiting Professor and Black Mountain Institute Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In a collection of poems that is part biography, part dialogue, part history and part chorale, The Lesser Tragedy of Death aims to capture the ephemeral, brutal life of one unnamed "brother." His sister's voice provides the narrative thrust--probing, questioning, regretful--revisiting scenes from their past and arguing with her brother over the family legacy and her complicity in his demise.



With all the bad news coming out of Arizona these days, here a breath of fresh air: Coffee House Press has published Drowning Tucson (Coffee House Press ISBN-10: 1566892406 ) by Aaron Michael Morales.

Set in Tucson's toughest neighborhoods during the late 1980s, this explosive debut follows the disintegration of the Nuñez family and the people whose paths they cross.

From crooked cops to prostitutes plying their trade along the "Miracle Mile," each person's destiny is linked by crushing poverty, the brutal codes of the street, and the harsh nature of the desert. In this place of drought and flood, "civilization" is every bit as dangerous as its surroundings.

Fast-paced and unrelenting, each chapter draws the reader in with the first line and doesn't let go until the heartrending finale. Like a southwest version of HBO's The Wire, this riveting novel is an episodic portrait of a desperate, violent America, populated by characters as lethal as they are sympathetic.

Genuinely relevant and never gratuitous, Morales writes about the side of humanity that society fears and ignores. Without judgment, he portrays the lives of young gangbangers, despondent mothers, gay teenage runaways, corrupt preachers, twisted pedophiles, murderous vigilantes, and broken families--all just trying to get by.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz says “This novel will not make you feel good. It will make you want to avert your eyes in the same way Richard Wright made you want to avert your eyes in Native Son. I am in awe of the muscular writing here, writing that is brave, honest, precise, and disciplined. Drowning Tucson took my breath away."

Born in 1976, Aaron Michael Morales grew up in Tucson. At age ten, he became a paperboy for the Arizona Daily Star and since then his jobs have ranged from working in a car parts factory to bar tending in Chicago's Oak Park neighborhood. He currently teaches writing and literature at Indiana State University and is working on his second novel. 

Visit aaronmichaelmorales.com. He has also published a chapbook, From Here You Can Almost See the End of the Desert. His story “Torchy’s,” which originally appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, was a Special Mention in the 2008 Pushcart Prize anthology. You can also catch an interview with Morales by clicking here: Interview with Aaron Michael Morales.



Stanford University Press releases 
(Stanford University Press ISBN-10: 0804768951) by Marisa Abrajano.

Marisa Abrajano is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California at San Diego. With R. Michael Alvarez, she is coauthor of New Faces, New Voices: The Hispanic Electorate in America.
Presuming that a strong relationship exists between one's identity and political behavior, U.S. politicians have long targeted immigrant and ethnic communities based on their shared ethnic or racial identity. But to what extent do political campaign messages impact voters' actual decisions and behaviors?

This new book is one of the first to examine and compare the campaign efforts used to target Latinos with those directed at the rest of the electorate. Specifically, it focuses on televised Spanish and English-language advertising developed for the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, as well as for dozens of congressional and statewide contests from 2000–2004. 

Abrajano's research reveals exposure to these televised political ads indeed impacts whether Latinos turn out to vote and, if so, for whom they vote. But the effect of these advertising messages is not uniform across the Latino electorate. Abrajano explores the particular factors that affect Latinos' receptivity to political ads and offers key findings for those interested in understanding how to mobilize this critical swing group in American politics.


Fracturing Opportunity: Mexican Migrant Students and College-going Literacy 
(Counterpoints: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education)(Peter Lang Publishing ISBN-10: 14331055) 
by R. Evely Gilderslee.

Fracturing Opportunity demonstrates a simple yet profound idea that educational opportunity is learned. And if it is learned, then it can be taught and taught more equitably. 

This book brings sociocultural theories of learning and development to bear on the persistent problems of inequality in college access, and presents an innovative framework for understanding and addressing the historic inequities that plague educational opportunity.

Through ethnographic documentation of Mexican migrants educational experiences, the book moves beyond traditional inquiry on aspiration, academic preparation, and college matriculation to explore the deeper, more fundamental sense-making processes that mediate how students among the most vulnerable cultural communities in the United States engage in college-going. 

This is an excellent text for educators and researchers interested in equal educational opportunity generally, Mexican migrant and Chicano education in particular, and scholars.


If you are interested in Arcadia Publishing photo books of Images of Americas, check out Pioneros II: Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1948-1998 (Bilingual Edition) (Images of America Series) (Arcadia Publishing ISBN-10: 0738572454)
by Virginia Sanchez Korrol, Pedro Juan Hernandez.

Following World War II, Puerto Ricans moved to New York in record numbers and joined a community of compatriots who had emigrated decades before or were born in diaspora. In a series of vivid images, Pioneros II: Puerto Ricans in New York City 1948-1998 brings to life their stories and struggles, culture and values, entrepreneurship, and civic, political, and educational gains. The Puerto Rican community's long history and achievements opened pathways for the city's newer Latino immigrant communities.

The University of California Press has published  
Migra!: A History of the U.S. Border Patrol 
(American Crossroads)(University of California Press ISBN-13: 978-0520266414 ) by Kelly Lytle Hernandez.

This is the untold history of the United States Border Patrol from its beginnings in 1924 as a small peripheral outfit to its emergence as a large professional police force. To tell this story, Kelly Lytle Hernández dug through a gold mine of lost and unseen records stored in garages, closets, an abandoned factory, and in U.S. and Mexican archives. Focusing on the daily challenges of policing the borderlands and bringing to light unexpected partners and forgotten dynamics, Migra! reveals how the U.S. Border Patrol translated the mandate for comprehensive migration control into a project of policing Mexicans in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

The University of Oklahoma Press has published  
Pio Pico: The Last Governor of Mexican California 
(University of Oklahoma Press ISBN-10: 0806140909) by Carlos Salomon.

“Thanks to this expertly researched and vividly written biography by a next-generation historian making a stunning debut, Pío Pico now emerges into full historical perspective as a pivotal and representative figure in the transition of California from Mexican province to American state."--Kevin Starr, Professor of History, University of Southern California

Two-time governor of Alta California and prominent businessman after the U.S. annexation, Pío de Jesus Pico was a politically savvy Californio who thrived in both the Mexican and the U.S. eriods. This is the first biography of Pico, whose life vibrantly illustrates the opportunities and risks faced by Mexican Americans in those transitional years.

Carlos Manuel Salomon breathes life into the story of Pico, who – despite his mestizo-black heritage--became one of the wealthiest men in California thanks to real estate holdings and who was the last major Californio political figure with economic clout.

Salomon traces Pico's complicated political rise during the Mexican era, leading a revolt against the governor in 1831 that swept him into that office. During his second governorship in 1845 Pico fought in vain to save California from the invading forces of the United States.

Pico faced complex legal and financial problems under the U.S. regime. Salomon argues that it was Pico's legal struggles with political rivals and land-hungry swindlers that ultimately resulted in the loss of Pico's entire fortune. Yet as the most litigious Californio of his time, he consistently demonstrated his refusal to become a victim.

Pico is an important transitional figure whose name still resonates in many Southern California locales. His story offers a new view of California history that anticipates a new perspective on the multicultural fabric of the state. 


New from Harvard University Press is Quest for Equality: The Failed Promise of Black-Brown Solidarity 
(Nathan I Huggins Lectures)(Harvard University Press ISBN-10: 0674050231) by Neil Foley.

As the United States championed principles of freedom and equality during World War II, it denied fundamental rights to many non-white citizens.

In the wake of President Franklin Roosevelt's "Good Neighbor" policy with Latin America, African American and Mexican American civil rights leaders sought ways to make that policy of respect and mutual obligations apply at home as well as abroad. They argued that a whites-only democracy not only denied constitutional protection to every citizen but also threatened the war effort and FDR's aims. 

Neil Foley examines the complex interplay among regional, national, and international politics that plagued the efforts of Mexican Americans and African Americans to find common ground in ending employment discrimination in the defense industries and school segregation in the war years and beyond.

Underlying differences in organizational strength, political affiliation, class position, and level of assimilation complicated efforts by Mexican and black Americans to forge strategic alliances in their fight for economic and educational equality. The prospect of interracial cooperation foundered as Mexican American civil rights leaders saw little to gain and much to lose in joining hands with African Americans.

Over a half century later, African American and Latino civil rights organizations continue to seek solutions to relevant issues, including the persistence of de facto segregation in our public schools and the widening gap in wealth and income in America. Yet they continue to grapple with the difficulty of forging solidarity across lines of cultural, class, and racial-ethnic difference, a struggle that remains central to contemporary life in the U.S.


Routledge has released an updated 
Operation Gatekeeper and Beyond: The War On "Illegals" and the Remaking of the U.S. Mexico Boundary 
(Routledge ISBN-13: 978-0415996945) by Joseph Nevins.

This major revision and update of Nevins’ earlier classic covering a variety of issues on immigration, transnational issues, and the politics of race, inclusion and exclusion. Not only has the author brought his subject completely up to date, but as a "case" of increasing economic integration and liberalization along with growing immigration control, the US. / Mexico Border and its history is put in a wider global context of similar developments elsewhere.

New is a companion website will be available May 2010 at www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415996945. The Companion Website contains key U.S. government documents related to the boundary and immigration enforcement strategy; reports from non-partisan research entities and non-governmental organizations that evaluate enforcement from a civil and human rights perspective; and studies that investigate migrant deaths in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

There are also photo essays, including one related to deportations and another to California’s Border Field State Park, for which the site also includes historic photos and other resources. Finally, the site has links to websites — from U.S. government agencies involved in boundary and immigrant policing, to humanitarian and border, migrant, and human rights organizations.


(Russel Sage Foundation 978-0-87154-041-6 )) by Jennifer Lee and Frank D. Bean

African Americans grappled with Jim Crow segregation until it was legally overturned in the 1960s. In subsequent decades, the country witnessed a new wave of immigration from Asia and Latin America — forever changing the face of American society and making it more racially diverse than ever before.

In The Diversity Paradox, authors Lee and Bean take these two poles of U.S. collective identity — the legacy of slavery and immigration — and ask if today’s immigrants are destined to become racialized minorities akin to African Americans, or if their incorporation into U.S. society will more closely resemble that of their European predecessors.

Lee and Bean also tackle the vexing question of whether America’s new racial diversity is helping to erode the tenacious black/white color line.

Coming Tuesday, New Book from 
Las Cruces author


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