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

Octavio Romano

Saturday, July 17, 2010

El Paso Writers Update - New Latino(a) Fiction Titles in July - New NonFiction Titles on Latin Americas

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July 17. Tumblewords Project - "Staring into Madness" with Steven Ogrey. Ogrey is a Creative Writing major at UTEP, and a reader for the FPlus podcast. 12:45-2:45pm, Memorial Park Public Library, 3200 Copper. Tumblewords Project workshops are weekly, same time, same place.


Stupid Americas

I saw VivirLatino posted Lalo Delgado's poem "Stupid America." See it at VivirLatino.

Dreamlandia Hot Off the Press

Octavio Solis' play "Dreamlandia" is "hot off the press" as the Drama Book Shop, Inc. Blog says. "Inspired by Life is a Dream, the towering achievement of Spanish drama, Dreamlandia explores the terrain between illusion and reality. Set in the borderlands between Mexico and Texas, this haunting new play vibrates with the clash of cultures, NAFTA, narcotics, and illegal immigration. In an ever changing world, family, cultural and sexual identities collide." READ MORE.

Saenz' Last Night I Sang to the Monster Reviewed

Bob's Book Blog reviewed Benjamin A. Saenz' recent novel, Last Night I Sang to the Monster. Bob says, "The novel is structured in short chapters with short sentences and is easy to read in spite of the complex issues it puts to the reader. The dialogue is sharp, direct and enviable. I wish I could say some of those things. The discussions in the Group therapy sessions are just stunning." READ MORE.

Blog Updates

Luis Rodriguez is back from England. He posted the following post to this blog: Stories and Poetry from Behind the Walls. "A few of the young men were boisterous, laughing, loud. Others were quiet. They were black, Asian, and white. Yet in one full day—and in the following half day—they all proved to be great writers, raising hard but brave issues, and risking some of their emotions and even grief in writing workshops I conducted at Her Majesty’s Young Offenders Institution/Portland," says Rodriguez. READ MORE.

Luis also posted a blog post concerning the recent release of his son from the Illinois Department of Correction. READ MORE.

Cinco Punto Press' blog posted a post on the passing of Patricia Clark Smith: "Our friend poet and writer Patricia Clark Smith has died. She was a wise and joyous woman, a passionate and fierce and happy woman. An activist, a feminist and a true American citizen (in the old and very heroic sense) with roots in Native America, Pat made her indelible mark in our world of letters and in our hearts." READ MORE.

On Jesus Rafael Gonzalez' blog, he posted some comments on fthe 65th Annivesary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima: "It was on this day 65 years ago that the first atomic bomb exploded. This test explosion happened at 5:30 a.m. on this day in 1945 near Alamogordo, New Mexico, which is about 120 miles south of Albuquerque." READ MORE.

On Mario T. Garcia's Blog, Mario posted the "Steps for immigration reform cannot be delayed." "President Obama very recently gave a major address on the need for comprehensive immigration reform at American University. While he reiterated his personal commitment to such reform especially in light of the events in Arizona where SB 1070 that makes illegal immigration a state crime and provides permission for local police to do immigration inquires has forced the issue of undocumented immigration back into the political limelight." READ MORE.

C.M. Mayo has posted some blogs of note on her blog, including ours. Thanks! READ MORE.

JULY 2010

Lady Q: The Making of a Latin Queen

Chicago Review Press; 1 edition (July 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1569762856
Reymundo Sanchez and Sonia Rodriguez.

Offering a rarely seen female perspective on gang life, this raw and powerful memoir tells not only of one woman’s struggle to survive the streets but also of her ascent to the top ranks of the new mafia, where the only people more dangerous than rival gangs were members of her own.

At age 5 Sonia Rodriguez’s stepfather began to abuse her; at 10 she was molested by her uncle and beaten by her mother when she told on him; and by 13 her home had become a hangout for the Latin Kings and Queens who were friends with her older sister.

Threatened by rival gang members at school, Sonia turned away from her education and extracurricular activities in favor of a world of drugs and violence. The Latin Kings, one of the largest and most notorious street gangs in America, became her refuge, but its violence cost her friends, freedom, self-respect, and nearly her life.

As a Latin Queen, she experienced the exhilarating highs and unbelievable lows of gang life. From being shot at by her own gang and kicked out at age 18 with an infant daughter to rejoining the gang and distinguishing herself as a leader, her legacy as Lady Q was cemented both for her willingness to commit violence and for her role as a drug mule.
Quiero Ser Famosa
(Spanish Edition) [Paperback]

Scholastic en Espanol (July 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0545166624

Ana Galan (Author)

Elena quiere ser famosa y pide ayuda a su familia. Todos le dan una sugerencia diferente, hasta que su hermano contribuye una idea simple y genial. Incluye la receta de unas deliciosas galletas y breves resenas sobre la vida de las famosas mujeres latinoamericanas que se mencionan en la historia.

Elena wants to be famous and asks her family for help. Her aunt says she can be a writer like Isabel Allende. Her grandma thinks she can be a painter like Frida Kahlo. Everybody has a different sugestion, until her brother comes up with a disarmingly obvious choice. Charmingly illustrated throughout, Quiero ser famosa includes a recipe for delicious cookies and brief biographical sketches of the famous Latinoamerican women who are featured in the story.

Lima Nights: A Novel

Dial Press Trade Paperback (July 13, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0385342594

Marie Arana

Carlos Bluhm leads the good life in upper-class Lima: He attends social functions with his elegant wife, goes out drinking with his three best friends, and has the occasional, fleeting assignation.

Then he meets Maria Fernandez, a dancer at a tango bar in a rough part of town. The beautiful fifteen-year-old intoxicates him. An indigenous dark-skinned Peruvian, she represents everything his safe white world does not, and soon he can’t get her out of his mind.

They begin a passionate affair, one that will destroy his marriage and shatter the only reality he’s ever known.

Flash forward twenty years: Against all odds, Carlos and Maria have remained together. But when Maria finally presses for a formal commitment, feelings long suppressed erupt in a tense endgame that sends both of them hurtling toward a dangerous resolution that will forever alter their lives.

The Husband Habit

St. Martin's Griffin (July 20, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0312638388

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Why does Vanessa keep falling for married men?

It’s not that she plans to. But every man who seems like he might be the one turns out to be someone else’s.  So maybe the right thing to do is take a vow to stay single, to keep away from all men, until she can figure things out. 

At least work is a haven: Vanessa loses herself in her job as a chef, except when her grandstanding boss, Hawk -- of Albuquerque’s chic Nuevo American restaurant hawk -- takes credit for her creations.

But then, it is his name on the awning above the door. If only her friends and family would get on board with Vanessa’s plan and stop trying to fix her up. If she can’t fix her life, nobody else is going to get the chance to try—not her parents, not her friends and certainly not her ultra-well-meaning but just-not-getting-it sister Larissa.

Vanessa stays focused by helping out at her parents’ house — all with her loyal pet Red Dog by her side. Red Dog is all the companionship she needs. Until Vanessa meets Paul, her parents’ neighbor — he’s all wrong on paper, but he’s a gentleman and seems safe. And there’s definitely chemistry.  But just when Vanessa’s guard goes down, the red flag goes up: could Paul be yet another married man??

Bursting with Valdes-Rodriguez’ trademark wit and originality, The Husband Habit introduces a rich and complex heroine in chef Vanessa. You’re not going to want to leave her world when the novel comes to an end.

In/security in Colombia: Writing Political identities in the Democratic Security Policy
(New Approaches to Conflict Analysis)
(Manchester University Press July 6, 2010 ISBN-10: 0719079853)

Josefina Echavarria

Based on geo -- and biopolitical analysis, this book reconsiders how security policies and practices legitimate state and non-state violence in the Colombian conflict.

Using the case study of the official Democratic Security Policy (DSP), Echavarría examines how security discourses write the political identities of state, self and others.

She claims that the DSP delimits politics, the political, and the imaginaries of peace and war through conditioning the possibilities for identity formation.

In/security in Colombia offers an innovative application of a large theoretical framework on the performative character of security discourses and furthers a nuanced understanding of the security problematique in a post-colonial setting.

This wide-reaching study will benefit students, scholars and policy-makers in the fields of security, peace and conflict, and Latin American issues.

Leftist Governments in Latin America: Successes and Shortcomings
(Cambridge University Press; 1 edition July 5, 2010 ISBN-10: 0521762200)

Kurt Weyland, Raúl L. Madrid, Wendy Hunter (Editors)

Can Latin America's "new left" stimulate economic development, enhance social equity, and deepen democracy in spite of the economic and political constraints it faces? This is the first book to systematically examine the policies and performance of the left-wing governments that have risen to power in Latin America during the last decade.
Featuring thorough studies of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela by renowned experts, the volume argues that moderate leftist governments have attained greater, more sustainable success than their more radical, contestatory counterparts.
Moderate governments in Brazil and Chile have generated solid economic growth, reduced poverty and inequality, and created innovative and fiscally sound social programs, while respecting the fundamental principles of market economics and liberal democracy.
By contrast, more radical governments, exemplified by Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, have expanded state intervention and popular participation and attained some short-term economic and social successes, but they have provoked severe conflict, undermined democracy, and failed to ensure the economic and institutional sustainability of their policy projects.
Latin America and the United States: A Documentary History

(Oxford University Press, USA; 2 edition July 8, 2010
ISBN-10: 0195385683)
Robert Holden and Eric Zolov (Authors)

Latin America and the United States: A Documentary History brings together the most important documents on the history of the relationship between the United States and Latin America from the 19th century to the present. In addition to standard diplomatic sources, the book includes documents touching on the transnational concerns that are increasingly taught in the classroom, including economic relations, environmental matters, immigration, human rights, and culture.

The collection illuminates key issues while representing a variety of interests and views as they have both persisted and shifted over time, including often-overlooked Latin American perspectives and U.S. public opinion.

Now fully revised in its second edition, Latin America and the United States: A Documentary History features updated selections on current trends, including key new documents on immigration, regional integration, indigenous political movements, democratization, and economic policy.
The second edition adds twenty-one documents and revises ten existing texts to ensure maximum clarity. The first edition's careful consideration of the Latin American perspective on hemispheric relations has been strengthened in the second edition, with many selections translated from the original Spanish by the editors.
Comprehensive introductions to each document provide the reader with essential information about its historical context and significance.
The book's detailed index identifies and cross-references the themes, events, problems, personalities, and nations discussed in both the documents and their introductions. Ideal for undergraduate and graduate courses in Latin American history and U.S.-Latin America relations, this book also serves as a unique reference tool for foreign policy professionals, international law specialists, journalists, and scholars in a variety of disciplines.

Corruption and Politics in Latin America: National and Regional Dynamics

Lynne Rienner Pub (July 15, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1588267431
Charles Blake (Editor)

Does corruption grease the wheels of Latin American politics, facilitating its operation? Or does it undermine democratic rule and worsen the perennial problems of poverty and inequality. Do citizens condemn, condone, or simply acquiesce to the corrupt behavior of their politicians?
Corruption and Politics in Latin America addresses these thorny questions, offering a fresh and timely approach to the subject. The authors' systematic comparative analysis of six countries -- Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela -- focuses on patterns and underlying causes of corruption, the impact of political and economic changes, the effect of corruption on politics and society, and the nature and effectiveness of recent reforms.
There is also a chapter devoted to regional and international efforts to attack corruption. With a common analytical approach reflected throughout, the book is both an accessible introduction and a source of new and provocative information and analysis
Notas sobre la revolucion latinoamericana
(Contexto Latinoamericano) (Spanish Edition) [Paperback]

Ocean Sur (July 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1921438681
Patricio Echegaray (Author)

This is a selection of articles, interviews, and speeches by a leading voice of the Latin American Left, famous for his interview with Colombian guerrillas. Here, Patricio Echegaray discusses recent political developments in Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, and Argentina, as well as his reflections on the significance of the Russian and Cuban revolutions.

Transcultural Encounters Amongst Women: Redrawing Boundaries in Hispanic and Lusophone Art, Literature and Film

Cambridge Scholars Publishing; New edition edition (July 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1443820733
Patricia O'Byrne (Author, Editor), Gabrielle Carty (Author, Editor), Niamh Thornton (Author, Editor)

Traditionally women have found recourse in artistic means to interrogate change and upheaval.
This volume explores the experiences of women from Spain, Portugal and Latin America in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who themselves have crossed cultural boundaries or have described this experience in their literature and film.
Areas investigated in this collection of essays include the experience of the exiled or the immigrant and their personal or collective response to displacement and adaptation.
It also includes the transcultural potential of cyberspace for women, how patterns and styles of the fashion industry have crossed borders; how women have crossed canonical cultural boundaries in search of identity and meaning; and, how global cultural influences have manifested in Hispanic and Lusophone cultural practices and production by or about women, and the challenging question of whether canine writing can be considered a branch of feminist theory.
Common to most of the essays are the central issues of identity, values, conflict and interconnectedness and an analysis of the patterns that result from the transcultural encounter of these aspects.


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