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

Octavio Romano

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Small Press Spotlight: Obema - German translation of Chicano Literature, New Books in July - Puerto Rico and Central America topics, and more Korean War Notes


As a lay sleeping I remember more Chicano books on the Korean War

I lay sleeping at night and memories of books I've read come to me like nightmares. As I said before, unlike Rolando Hinojosa's works, most works in the Chicano(a) Literature don't deal with being in Korea during the war, but deal with the home front.
The Korean War lingers in the backdrop of Tomas Rivera's ...y no se lo trago la tierra. Most of the work deals with the 1950s. Rivera would cease field work in 1956 to attend school full time. The war lingers as the main characters older brother is missing in action in Korea. In The Complete Works of Tomas Rivera, there is a story called "Eva and Daniel" which was originally suppose to be included in ...y no se lo trago la tierra. It has a story of a young couple. Eva has complications to her pregnancy and Daniel goes AWOL from his army training before he is sent to Korea, but by the time he arrives Eva had died.

Many Chicanos earned distinguished military records during the Korean War of the early 1950s. I should also mentioned, in the movie Giant, which Tino Villanueva, has so eloquently described in his Scene from the Movie Giant, has a Chicano who dies in Korea.

Jose Montoya is a Korean War veteran. He writes in Information: 20 Years of Joda (Chusma House): 
"Los Chicanos en Korea
Se portaron con honor
Ganaron muchas medallas
Hasta liberty en Japon
Pero al volver al conton
derechito a la prision" 
(Chicano acted wtih honor in Korea. They won many medals and took leaves in Japan. but when they returned home, they went straight to prison.")("Chicanos in Korea").
Arturo Islas also has Louie Mendoza in La Mollie and the King of Tears as a Korean War Verteran. Other Korean War accounts that people have sent me via email include Americo Paredes' The Hammon and the Beans. 

"Salt and Pepper" is a short play by Jose Cruz Gonzalez. Here's a description: "Salt and his older brother, Andy, have lived with their irascible grandfather since their mother left to find fame as a singer when Salt was a baby. When his grandfather’s constant criticism drives Andy join the Marines and is sent to fight in the Korean War, Salt is left as the sole assistant to his grandfather’s failing produce delivery business. Although his first encounter with a tough, bookloving Latina girl named Pepper ends in a fight, the two soon become friends. In a challenging sequence of events, Salt discovers that his mother did not become a famous country singer as he’s been told, that his grandfather cannot read, and that Andy has been killed. With Pepper’s help, Salt helps his grandfather turn grief and shame into hope for the future."

The play can be found in an anthology of Gonzalez' plays published by the University of Texas Press in 2008: Nine Plays by José Cruz González: Magical Realism and Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audiences (ISBN-10: 0292718551).

Small Press Spot Light: OBEMA

No not Obama. In researching Rolando Hinojosa's Korean Love Songs (see yesterday's post), I came across this press, OBEMA. 

Remeber how in Pluma Fronteriza's interview with Carlos Morton (read our interview with Morton), Morton said, "There is a lot of interest in Chicano/Latino theater in Europe, perhaps more than in the U.S.A."
Well, scholars in Germany have paid much attention to Chicano(a) Literature.  A good example is the book Partial autobiographies: Interviews with twenty Chicano poets (Erlanger Studien)(Palm & Enke 1985 ISBN-10: 3789601659) by Wolfgang Binder.

OBEMA stands for Osnabrunk Bilingual Editions of Marginalized Authors. OBEMA publishes a non-commercial series since 1989. It was founded by Hartmut Lutz (now Universit”t Greifswald).  The series contains bilingual (English-German) writings by authors who have begun on the margins of the respective power cultures in their home countries. 

They still continue to 'right' history. These writers include Native Americans and Native Canadians, Aborigial Australians, New Zealand Maori, Chicano/a, Pacific Islanders, Black Americans.  

OBEMA's objectives are:
  • to introduce the German reading public to the works of marginalized authors;
  • to help generate a greater international awareness of intercultural relations and relatedness;
  • to support the efforts of marginalized authors for recognition by giving international publicity;
  • to help enlarge and enrich the established literary canon on grounds of ethnicity, class and/or gender.
 Their publications of Chicano(a) authors include two Tejano authors: Hinojosa and Carmen Tafoya. Wow, out of all the writer and works in Chicano(a) Lit, they choose these. What an honor.

Vol. 6: Rolando Hinojosa: Korean Love Songs

Korean Love Songs is a short novel in free verse by one of the best known Chicano writers in the U.S. The "Klail City Death Trip" series of novels is a portrayal of the problematic Mexican-American history continued in the Korean war. 125pp., Ä 7,00 

Vol. 8: Carmen Tafolla: Sonnets to Human Beings

This first edition collects poems by one of the outstanding Chicana poets of today. Carmen Tafolla, who lives and writes in Texas, has published among other things several volumes of poetry and a book of feminist prose. The free-verse Sonnets are about Chicanos and Chicanas, Organ "Donors", Human Rights, schooling, birth, torture, Native Americans, and - above all - love. 104pp., Ä 10,00  

Other authors they've published include: Joseph Bruchac, Melba Joyce Boyd, Bobbi Sykes, Cathie Dunsford, Peter Blue Cloud, lance henson, Meiling Jinand, Gerald Vizenor, Howard Adams, Greg Young-Ing, Jeannette Armstrong, Beth Cuthand, Daniel David Moses, Rita Joe and Lenore Keeshig-Tobias; Maori writers Patricia Grace, Renee, Keri Hulme, Powhiri Rika-Heke, and Toi Te Rito Maihi; Aboriginal writers John Muk Muk Burke, Eva Johnson, and Dinah Garadji; Lorenzo Thomas, and  Carol Lee Sanchez.

Check out their website at: http://www.lili.uni-osnabrueck.de/obema/ 



(Caribbean Archaeology and Ethnohistory) 
Univerfsity of Alabama Press July 28, 2010 ISBN-10: 0817317023)
Reniel Rodriguez Ramos

The history of Puerto Rico has usually been envisioned as a sequence of colonizations-various indigenous peoples from Archaic through Taino were successively invaded, assimilated, or eliminated, followed by the Spanish entrada, which was then modified by African traditions and, since 1898, by the United States. The truth is more complex, but in many ways Puerto Rico remains one of the last colonies in the world. 

This volume focuses on the successive indigenous cultures of Puerto Rico prior to 1493. Traditional studies of the cultures of indigenous peoples of the Caribbean have centered on ceramic studies, based on the archaeological model developed by Irving Rouse which has guided Caribbean archaeology for decades. Rodriguez Ramos departs from this methodology by implementing lithics as the primary unit for tracing the origins and developments of the indigenous peoples of Puerto Rico. 

Analyzing the technological styles involved in the production of stone artifacts in the island through time, as well as the evaluation of an inventory of more than 500 radiocarbon dates recovered since Rouse's model emerged, the author presents a truly innovative study revealing alternative perspectives on Puerto Rico's pre-Colombian culture-historical sequence. 

By applying a multiscalar design, he not only not only provides an analysis of the plural ways in which the precolonial peoples of the island interacted and negotiated their identities but also shows how the cultural landscapes of Puerto Rico, the Antilles, and the Greater Caribbean shaped and were shaped by mutually constituting processes through time.

Excavations at Maria de la Cruz Cave and Hacienda Grenda Village Site, Loiza, Puerto Rico
(Yale University Publications in Anthropology)
The Yale Peabody Museum July 27, 2010 ISBN-10: 0913516163
Irving Rouse , Ricardo E. Alegria (Authors)


The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in HIV Prevention and Care in Central America
RAND Corporation; 1 edition July 16, 2010 ISBN-10: 0833049534)

Kathryn Pitkin Derose, David E. Kanouse, David P. Kennedy, Kavita Patel, Alice Taylor (Authors). 

Describes the involvement of churches and other faith-based organizations (FBOs) in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. The authors describe the range of FBO activities and discuss the facilitators and barriers to such involvement and possible ways that FBOs can increase their efforts, both independently and in collaboration with other organizations, such as government ministries of health.

(University of New Mexico Press July 16, 2010 ISBN-10: 0826346081)
Nell Farrell 

When Nell Farrell traveled to Nicaragua in the fall of 2005 the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) had recently been passed in the U.S. Congress and was still being debated by the Nicaraguan Asamblea Nacional. Farrell spent three months photographing and interviewing young working people who would be affected by the agreement and whose lives were already shaped by the low-wage global economy. 

Focusing on workers in four regions--young women in the factories of Managua's Free Trade Zone, dairy farmers and cattlemen in the interior state of Matagalpa, laborers in the sugarcane fields of Chinandega, and indigenous lobster divers on the Miskito Coast--this project investigates how globalization, with all of its economic and cultural implications, comes to bear on the young generation of Nicaraguans who share a birthday with the revolution that attracted such intense foreign attention from the late 1970s to 1990.

The impact of CAFTA for distant countries like Nicaragua, particularly in light of the massive trade imbalance between those countries and the U.S., is often difficult for Americans to comprehend. Aiming to bridge that gap, Farrell weaves together interviews, intimate photographs, and her own observations to illustrate the relationship between Nicaraguan laborers, international politics, and global markets. 


Mora popular on children's book blogs

Several recent post of interest on Pat Mora's children's books. Kate's Bookery: A Blog for Children's Books has a small write up on Pat Mora's Gracias/Thanks. Read write up. 

Hip Mama Jen posted a small review of Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day by Mora. Read more.

Ruben Salazar assassination

It is almost 40 years to the day (in August) the the killing of journalist and El Paso native Ruben Salazar. The LA Times had a recent article: "Healing wounds 40 years after Ruben Salazar's death" by Henry Tobar. "The Chicano journalist spent a lot of his career taking officialdom to task. Now some officials could help shed light on his mysterious death." Read more.

Blog Updates

Luis J. Rodriguez is blogging from London: "Later that day my friend Josephine Metcalf and I made our way to the Fulham neighborhood to speak at a youth center to a predominantly Afro-Caribbean audience. Parents, youth workers, teachers, organizers, and young people were in attendance, filling up the meeting space. The talk was highly engaged and the audience participation strong." READ MORE


The link we share with you today is: Dossier Covert Ops. Dossier offers hundreds of declassified government documents and analysis of covert ops and propaganda campaigns worldwide. Something strange is happening... and we have the papers to prove it. 

The hierba we share with you today is: Peppermint  - drink this after you come home from your night out on the town and before bed. Assists with handovers and "beer headaches"

Your juarense calo lesson for today is: gusano (echar) - coquetear - to flirt

Stay tune for Lunes with Lalo tomorrow. If you didn't get his poem "From Us Chicano Kids" last week, the cake spelled "TOT F%$K" - to our teacher from us chicano kids.


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