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

Octavio Romano

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Writing and book news - comments on recent documentaries - some Chican@ writer news


Interesting articles on books and writing

The Nation published "Who Stole Feminism"?. For all you Chicano(a) journalist that think your job sucks, check out Nixon's Failed Attempts to 'Poisoning the Press'" on National Public Radio (NPR).

Check out The Guardian's Banned Books Quiz: "According to the ALA, what was the book most frequently requested for removal from their shelves in 2007 (it also topped the list of “challenged” titles in 2006)?" Also, is rape an appropriate topic for YAs. "Judy Blume and fellow authors and readers have rallied behind Laurie Halse Anderson's acclaimed young adult novel about the rape of a teenager, Speak, following a call to ban it from schools in Missouri," say a article by Alison Flood in The Guardian. READ IT NOW.

Get a "mean" review of your book. Check out the Huffington Posts (The Huff) Readers Choice of 6 of the Meanest Book Reviews Ever.

 “The [American] publishing industry has become, in the past 10–15 years, one of the worst and most dangerous things that has happened to the works of art and literature,” says Alberto Manguel. See Edward Nawotka's article, "Does American Publishing Have Too Much Influence on Global Book Culture?"

Vampires that can go out in the day. Sucking blood made legal. Bloodsuckers now teenage heartthrobs, check out Stephen King's Stephen King explains how to make vampires 'scary again'.

Need a good Copyrighter? Even those at the top are in need. See Jonathan Franzen's book Freedom suffers UK recall: "So it is particularly unfortunate that, thanks to an apparent mistake by his typesetters, the version published in Britain has been found to be littered with errors."

Host a book festival and then "disinvite" an author. Think again! The Guardian reports, "A literary festival for teenagers has been cancelled in Texas after a group of authors withdrew in protest at the organisers' decision to "disinvite" controversial young adult writer Ellen Hopkins." READ IT NOW.

Persevering through rejection? See Melanie Benjamin's article on the subject: "Stop the Insanity and Just Write Already."

We've been on the subject of our people not reading our literature. Check out this article "New Study on Reading in the Digital Age: Parents Say Electronic, Digital Devices Negatively Affects Kids' Reading Time.

He attended Harvard, read his new book Unabomber's book finds publisher in Port Townsend. Isn't is "unibomber"?

Get a preview on Steinbeck as we will be asking Felipe Ortego some John Steinbeck related question this week. See the New York Times story on Steinbeck heirs feuding: "At Steinbeck’s Getaway as Heirs’ Feud Revives."

Latin American writers

Granta named "best young Spanish-language novelists." See Granta names 'best young Spanish-language novelists' : "The future Ian McEwans and Salman Rushdies of the Spanish-language literary world have been named by Granta magazine in a list of the best young Spanish-language authors writing today." 

Chicano(a) Writers

"A new book focuses on how the ethnicity of those incarcerated at the Whittier State School, a reformatory now known as the Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility," says the Whitter Daily News on Miroslava Chavez-Garcia news book States of Delinquency: Youth Race, and Science at Whittier State School, 1890s to 1940s. READ THE ENTIRE STORY.

Check out Yvette Benavides' book review of the new Alurista book Tunaluna (Aztlan Libre Press): "Alurista always has been known for this experimentation with languages and dialects. But he also has been criticized for this practice. Some critics find the language alienating to the very people he is writing about, or for..." READ THE ENTIRE REVIEW.

Is Mike Padilla's second book and first novel, The Girls From the Revolutionary Cantina  falling into the ChikLit genre, like it or not? Read

Chicano writer Michael Rodriguez (Humidity Moon - Pecan Grove Press) and actor/poet Eduardo Garza are featured. Also seen in the doc are cameos of Norma Cantu, and of interest to El Paso, Diana Montejano. I was surprised and sad-happy at the same time to see a short clip of Trinidad Sanchez, Jr.

Above, Collapsed walkway at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City

Independent Lens ran "Companeras," a documentary about Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles. The documentary was very good, although it erroneously calls Mariachi Reyna the United States' first all-female mariachi
 Above, Mariachi Estrella of Topeka, KS

It's funny because I first pointed this out almost 15 years ago in Mariachi Magazine, when I wrote about Mariachi Estrella of Topeka, Kansas. There is a documentary about Mariachi Estrella, called "Mariachi Estrella." Many of the members fell victim in the Hyatt Regency Disaster in Kansas City on July 17, 1981, in which 114 people were killed and another 200 injured. See a clip of the "Mariachi Estrella" documentary.

A curious note, Emmanuel Martinez, the artist commissioned to do the painting of Lalo and Lola Delgado did a sculpture memorializing Mariachi Estrella. The sculpture is in Topeka.
Writer Ruben Martinez hosts a documentary called "When World Collide" about the first 100 years of the meztizaje. This one was very good also.

Ben Saenz meditates on the word "illegal": "The way we employ language says a great deal about our national character. Illegal is an adjective. It is not a noun. The use of the term in place of a human being is uncivilized, ungenerous, and mean spirited. I’ve always believed that when we call other people names, we begin to lose our dignity." READ NOW.

A neat book cover by Yuri Morales. Check it out.


No comments: