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

Octavio Romano

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Book and Other Literary News


UNM creative writing tied up in controversy says Chronicle on Higher Ed

Well, Pluma Fronteriza has tried to stay off this topic of Lisa D. Chavez and UNM's English Department, as we are well aware of the trials and discrimination Chicana professors experience in universities. We've read the briefs and other legal documents relating to the lawsuits involved. Nevertheless, there's no hiding the story if the Chronicle on Higher Education does a write up. Check out "In Professor-Dominatrix Scandal, U. of New Mexico Feels the Pain": "Life has become extremely complex in the University of New Mexico's English department in the three years since Lisa D. Chávez, a tenured associate professor, was discovered moonlighting as the phone-sex dominatrix "Mistress Jade," and posing in promotional pictures sexually dominating one of her own graduate students." READ MORE. Of course read it with a grain of salt.

Pre-literature talkstory

We mentioned this yesterday, but let's do it again. Barbara Jane Reyes wrote an excellent post "Poets of Color: Some Questions Regarding the Democratization of Poetry," a commentary and analysis of Juan Felipe Herrera's A Natural History of Chicano Literature: "Thinking on the need to expand the boundaries of poetry, I’d pointed out yesterday evening that Pietri and Piñero were poets and playwrights. I talked about the live performance, the “spoken word” not as a new thing, but as a continuation of a very old, pre-literature talkstory tradition. In this Herrera video, he says, “We need as many different mediums as possible to express as many realities as possible.” READ MORE.

Mining Allende

A neat little story, Author Isabel Allende Visits Trapped Chilean Miners' Families:  "Author Isabel Allende, renowned for novels such as "The House of Spirits," was introduced by President Sebastian Pinera at a brief news conference as a great Chilean – "perhaps the best ambassador that our country has had." Standing with them was her relative, Sen. Isabel Allende, a socialist who represents the Atacama region where the mine is located and who has been critical of Chile's mine-safety regulation."

Mexicana wins PEN/Pinter

Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho will receive the PEN/Pinter award for "harassed and tortured after publishing a book exposing a child pornography ring." READ THE STORY. Check out this Arizona Public Radio soundclip regarding Side By Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez by Monica Brown: HERE IT NOW.

Chomsky at UNAM

Noam Chomsky spoke at the 100 anniversary of the Universidad Nacional Autonimo de Mexico (UNAM) (I think that's what it stands for) stating that the free traded agreements Mexico signed with Canada and the U.S. have done more harm than Spanish colonialism. READ THE ENTIRE JORNADA ARTICLE.

Ugly Book Covers?

There is one small press that publishes Chicano and Latino literature that I have to say, their book covers suck. Check out the "4 basic requirements of an Effective Book Cover."

Maybe you should put that first novel away

Is that first novel taking too long to write? Maybe its just a "training" novel. "See Two First Novels, 10 Years in the Making on National Public Radio": "The writing process is not for the faint of heart, says novelist and editor Colin Harrison. And he should know: His own first novel took five years to complete — and was then rejected by everybody." READ/HEAR MORE

A related story, "Lessons In Novel Writing (Learned The Hard Way)" is also available for your ears. HEAR MORE.

A related topic but this involving "author speed dating" by Jennie Nash on The Huffington Post: "The Making of a Novel: The Snail's Pace Race."

Secondary Orality?

"At the end of the second world war there were more than 300 bookshops in New York City, says Robert McCrum in his article "Google's publishing free for all undermines our literary tradition" in The Guardian. "Today there are fewer than 30. The astonishing scale of this transformation has left many observers as disoriented as the survivors of a natural disaster." READ MORE.

Oprah Sexist?

"Is Oprah Sexist? Should Authors Say Less and Write More?" asks Lev Raphael of The Huff: "So Oprah picked Jonathan Franzen's new novel Freedom for her Book Club, despite the hullabaloo raised by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner about the amount of "sexist" press coverage his new novel was getting. Does that make Oprah sexist? And what will those highly successful commercial writers say now?" READ MORE.

 Bookstore in Iraq

What's it like for a book store in Iraq. Read this AP story "How goes Iraq? View from a bookstore is revealing."

Murdochered Books begin Saturday

 The Wall Street Journal's book review publications begins print this Saturday. Murdoch unleashed.

Please ban my book, I need the sales

Pluma Fronteriza will celebrate/decelebrate Banned Books Week, next week. For a preview, check out "Can Censoring Children's Books Remove Its Prejudices?" at Nine Kinds of Pie. Also, an interesting article on The Huff is "What to Do About Classic Children's Books That Are Racist": "One of my favorite childhood books was Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle. I've the original book and as a young teacher realized that it was... um... horribly... racist...." I can't help myself, here's another one: Young Adult Novels Called 'Soft Porn': Attack Ignites Storm Of Responses From Publishing Community (POLL)."

Hackers' Revenge

For laughs, this story on "MPAA, RIAA & other copyright groups targeted by hackers" talks about how groups like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have had their official websites attacked by hackers as retaliation for recent anti-piracy attacks initiated by copyright groups.

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