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

Octavio Romano

Thursday, June 03, 2010

New Creative Literature in June 2010; Troncoso blog; Diego Vazquez, Jr. link and other updated links

New Chicano(a) and Latino Books in 
June 2010
(with some non-chicano/latino stuff)

Brando Skyhorse.
Free Press (June 1, 2010) ISBN-10: 1439170800

We slipped into this country like thieves, onto the land that once was ours.
With these words, spoken by an illegal Mexican day laborer, The Madonnas of Echo Park takes us into the unseen world of Los Angeles, following the men and women who cook the meals, clean the homes, and struggle to lose their ethnic identity in the pursuit of the American dream. 

When a dozen or so girls and mothers gather on an Echo Park street corner to act out a scene from a Madonna music video, they find themselves caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. In the aftermath, Aurora Esperanza grows distant from her mother, Felicia, who as a housekeeper in the Hollywood Hills establishes a unique relationship with a detached housewife.

The Esperanzas’ shifting lives connect with those of various members of their neighborhood. A day laborer trolls the streets for work with men half his age and witnesses a murder that pits his morality against his illegal status; a religious hypocrite gets her comeuppance when she meets the Virgin Mary at a bus stop on Sunset Boulevard; a typical bus route turns violent when cultures and egos collide in the night, with devastating results; and Aurora goes on a journey through her gentrified childhood neighborhood in a quest to discover her own history and her place in the land that all Mexican Americans dream of, "the land that belongs to us again." 

Like the Academy Award–winning film Crash, The Madonnas of Echo Park follows the intersections of its characters and cultures in Los Angeles. In the footsteps of Junot Díaz and Sherman Alexie, Brando Skyhorse in his debut novel gives voice to one neighborhood in Los Angeles with an astonishing— and unforgettable—lyrical power.

Cambridge University Press June 2010
ISBN-10: 0521514703
Kevin R. McNamara (Editor)

Los Angeles has a tantalizing hold on the American imagination. Its self-magnifying myths encompass Hollywood glamour, Arcadian landscapes, and endless summer, but also the apocalyptic undertow of riots, environmental depredation, and natural disaster. This Companion traces the evolution of Los Angeles as the most public staging of the American Dream - and American nightmares.

The expert contributors make exciting, innovative connections among the authors and texts inspired by the city, covering the early Spanish settlers, African American writers, the British and German expatriates of the 1930s and 1940s, Latino, and Asian LA literature.

The genres discussed include crime novels, science fiction, Hollywood novels, literary responses to urban rebellion, the poetry scene, nature writing, and the most influential non-fiction accounts of the region. Diverse, vibrant, and challenging as the city itself, this Companion is the definitive guide to LA in literature. Including works by Rosaura Sanchez and Beatrice Pita.. Eric Avila.

La Luna Roja / Red Moon
Luis Leante
Punto De Lectura June 25, 2010 
ISBN-10: 8466323880

A Turkish writer, Emin Kemal was in the midst of a career decline when he dies under strange circumstances. His Spanish translator is implicated in the writer s death, and finds himself caught up in a plot that will force him to uncover his own past and the life of Emin Kemal in Istanbul. And in the center stands an ambitious woman neither of them can escape.

This new novel by Premio Alfaguara Luis Leante, is a carefully crafted house of mirrors, a disquieting tale of the role identity and literature play in our existence. A story of the love for books, for stories, for storytelling.

Una novela sobre secretos y pasiones, sobre el amor por los libros, por las historias y por contarlas. Las vidas paralelas de un escritor, Emin Kemal, y su traductor, frustrado por su falta de talento literario. Y en el centro, una mujer ambiciosa a cuyo alrededor giran los dos hombres incapaces de escapar del circulo. 

Un autor turco en el declive de su carrera muere en extranas circunstancias. Su traductor al castellano se vera envuelto en la muerte del escritor y en una trama que lo obligara a destapar su propio pasado y el de Emin Kemal en Estambul. En la atmosfera de confusion flota la presencia oscura de Derya, esposa y amante.
Un conmovedor viaje por el tiempo, por paisajes y personajes que nos resultan cercanos y exoticos a la vez gracias a la habilidad narrativa de Luis Leante, Premio Alfaguara de Novela. La Luna Roja es un minucioso juego de espejos, un inquietante relato sobre la identidad y la literatura como parte de la vida.

Into the Beautiful North: A Novel
Luis Alberto Urrea
Back Bay Books (June 16, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0316025267

Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US when she was young. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over. 

The Wind Doesn't Need a Passport: Stories from the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands
Tyche Hendricks
University Of Chicago Press (June 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0226184781

Award-winning journalist Tyche Hendricks has explored the U.S.-Mexico borderlands by car and by foot, on horseback, and in the back of a pickup truck. She has shared meals with border residents, listened to their stories, and visited their homes, churches, hospitals, farms, and jails. In this dazzling portrait of one of the least understood and most debated regions in the country, Hendricks introduces us to the ordinary Americans and Mexicans who live there--cowboys and Indians, factory workers and physicians, naturalists and nuns. 

A new picture of the borderlands emerges, and we find that this region is not the dividing line so often imagined by Americans, but is a common ground alive with the energy of cultural exchange and international commerce, burdened with too-rapid growth and binational conflict, and underlain with a deep sense of history.

Hyperion; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1401323340

Oscar Hijuelos The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love is a Pulitzer Prize-winning contemporary American classic, a book that still captivates and inspires readers twenty years after its first publication. Now, in Beautiful Maria of My Soul, Oscar Hijuelos returns to this indelible story, to tell it from the point of view of its beloved heroine, Maria.

She's the great Cuban beauty who stole musician Nestor Castillo's heart and broke it, inspiring him to write the Mambo Kings' biggest hit, ''Beautiful Maria of My Soul.'' Now in her sixties and living in Miami with her pediatrician daughter, Teresa, Maria remains a beauty, still capable of turning heads. But she has never forgotten Nestor, and as she thinks back to her days--and nights--in Havana, an entirely new perspective on the Mambo Kings story unfolds.


I have updated most of the El Paso Writer links (including their blogs) on the left side of this blog. I still need to work on the non-El Paso writers. I've also updated the "places" links. Feel free to email me suggestions for Places links and any writers with websites or blogs, feel free to send me an email to put a link on this blog.

Please check out Sergio Troncoso's blog Chico Lingo. Please check out Diego Vazquez, Jr.'s website. I have also linked Mouthfeel Press under local presses. As I cold email many Chicano (a) writers regularly, this Steve Martin response letter reminded me of some Chicano(a) writers.

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