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

Octavio Romano

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chicano(a) Writers Update: Summer and Fall Previews - Arturo Islas

Arturo Islas
May 25, 1938 – February 15, 1991

Happy Birthday to Arturo Islas en la mas alla.

Chicano(a) Writers' Update

Luis Jimenez in San Tony

While ideas about removing a Luis Jimenez sculpture in Downtown El Paso linger, the Witt Museum in San Antonio will showcase some of Jimenez work along with works of the Bank of America Collection including such artists as Diego Rivera, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Graciela Iturbide and Rufino Tamayo, as well as contemporary artists such as Alejandro Colunga, Judithe Hernandez.

Mosquita y Mari

You can find a small write up on the movie showing at Canne "Mosquita y Mari": Logline: “Mosquita y Mari” is a coming of age film about two young Chicana best friends who struggle to address their growing attraction while growing up in a working-class, immigrant Latino community." read more.

Aldana on Mayan Calender and Doomsday

Gerardo Aldana, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at University of California Santa Barbara, is quoted in the interesting story "Doomsday: Is it May 21, 2011 or Dec. 21, 2012"

New Poetry from Jose Antonio Rodriguez

Also, recently off of Tia Chucha Press is The Shallow End of Sleep on paperback by
Jose Antonio Rodriguez. You can see an image of Rodriguez' book on his blog at: http://joseorbust.blogspot.com/

Also, the Kindle Edition of Another Waterbug is Murdered by Victoria García-Zapata Klein is out this month off of Wings Press. 

Summer Preview

Bilingual Press will release Ocotillo Dreams in paperback this July. It's written by Melinda Palacio. I don't have a description yet, but give me a few days. 

Also, Bilingual will release in August David Rice's Heart-Shaped Cookies and Other Stories on paperback.

Fall Preview Chicano Publishing

Luis Alberto Urrea will be coming out with a sequal to the Hummingbirds Daughter. The novel is called Queen of America: A Novel

Here's the publisher's description: "After the bloody Tomochic rebellion, Teresita Urrea, beloved healer and "Saint of Cabora," flees with her father to Arizona. But their plans are derailed when she once again is claimed as the spiritual leader of the Mexican Revolution. Besieged by pilgrims and pursued by assassins, Teresita embarks on a journey through turn-of-the-century industrial America-New York, San Francisco, St. Louis. She meets immigrants and tycoons, European royalty and Cuban poets, all waking to the new American century. And as she decides what her own role in this modern future will be, she must ask herself: can a saint fall in love? At turns heartbreaking, uplifting, and riotously funny, QUEEN OF AMERICA reconfirms Luis Alberto Urrea's status as a writer of the first rank."

Chicano(a) writers in Darfur Book
Several Chicano authors have contributed to this forcoming book: What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur [Hardcover of Putnam Juvenile. They include Gary Soto, Francisco Stork, among others. "A stellar collection from Newbery medalists and bestselling authors written to benefit Darfuri refugees

With contributions from some of the best talent writing for children today, What You Wish For is a compelling collection of affecting, inspiring, creepy, and oft-times funny short stories and poems all linked by the universal power of a wish - the abstract things we all wish for - home, family, safety and love.

From the exchange of letters between two girls who have never met but are both struggling with the unexpected curves of life, to the stunning sacrifice one dying girl makes for another, to the mermaid who trades her tail for legs, to the boy who unwittingly steals an imp's house, and to the chilling retelling of Cinderella, What You Wish For brings together a potent international roster of authors of note to remember and celebrate the Darfuri refugees and their incredible story of survival and hope." (Publishers Description).

Soto will also be coming out with a young adult book Hey, 13! [Hardcover] in October. "Being thirteen is happy, sad, humiliating, surprising, wonderful, awful, exciting, boring, in other words fill of ups and downs. The thirteen-year-olds in Gary Soto's thirteen stories experience all this and more.

In one story, a girl's world is turned upside down when she visits a college campus where she expects to find a rarified atmosphere of intellectual pursuit, only to meet a tour guide who is tattooed, overly pierced, hungover, and not at all focused on academics. In another, two girls test the attraction of their new bodies by flirting with boys at a mall and then find themselves in an uncomfortable and somewhat frightening situation.

The stories in this book are about family relationshps, friendships, self-worth, and questions of integrity. "

Rudolfo Anaya's La Llorona

Aside from his new novel off of University of Oklahoma Press, Rudolfo Anaya will put out a multilingual edition of his book La Llorona. It will be off of the University of New Mexico Press. 

Here's the publisher's descriptions: "La Llorona, the Crying Woman, is the legendary creature who haunts rivers, lakes, and lonely roads. Said to seek out children who disobey their parents, she has become a 'boogeyman', terrorizing the imaginations of New Mexican children and inspiring them to behave. But there are other lessons her tragic history can demonstrate for children.

In Rudolfo Anaya's version Maya, a young woman in ancient Mexico, loses her children to Father Time s cunning. This tragic and informative story serves as an accessible message of mortality for children. La Llorona, deftly translated by Enrique Lamadrid, is familiar and newly informative, while Amy Cordova's rich illustrations illuminate the story. The legend as retold by Anaya, a man as integral to southwest tradition as La Llorona herself, is storytelling anchored in a very human experience. His book helps parents explain to children the reality of death and the loss of loved ones."

Earth Wisdom by Broyles-Gonzalez

Yolanda Broyles-González will publish Earth Wisdom: A California Chumash Woman on University of Arizona Press in November. "Pilulaw Khus has devoted her life to tribal, environmental, and human rights issues. With impressive candor and detail, she recounts those struggles here, offering a Native woman's perspective on California history and the production of knowledge about indigenous peoples. Readers interested in tribal history will find in her story a spiritual counterpoint to prevailing academic views on the complicated reemergence of a Chumash identity. Readers interested in environmental studies will find vital eyewitness accounts of movements to safeguard important sites like Painted Rock and San Simeon Point from developers. Readers interested in indigenous storytelling will find Chumash origin tales and oral history as recounted by a gifted storyteller.

The 1978 Point Conception Occupation was a turning point in Pilulaw Khus's life. In that year excavation began for a new natural gas facility at Point Conception, near Santa Barbara, California. To the Chumash tribal people of the central California coast, this was desecration of sacred land. In the Chumash cosmology, it was the site of the Western Gate, a passageway for spirits to enter the next world. Frustrated by unfavorable court hearings, the Chumash and their allies mobilized a year-long occupation of the disputed site, eventually forcing the energy company to abandon its plan. The Point Conception Occupation was a landmark event in the cultural revitalization of the Chumash people and a turning point in the life of Pilulaw Khus, the Chumash activist and medicine woman whose firsthand narrations comprise this volume.

Scholar Yolanda Broyles-González provides an extensive introductory analysis of Khus's narrative. Her analysis explores "re-Indianization" and highlights the newly emergent Chumash research of the last decade" 

Ramon Eduardo Ruiz Memoirs

The University of Arizona Press will also publish Memories of a Hyphenated Man [Paperback] which are the memiors of Ramon Eduardo Ruiz. "Ramon Eduardo Ruiz would be the first to admit that he is not your typical Mexican American. But he has always known who he is. 
Historian, author, and intellectual, Ruiz has established himself through such books as Triumphs and Tragedy: A History of the Mexican People and Cuba: The Making of a Revolution, and in 1998 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Clinton. 

Now he turns his pen on his own life to offer a personal look at what it really means to be American by birth but Mexican by culture. Little has been written by or about persons of Mexican origin who have achieved the academic stature of Ruiz, and his memoir provides insights not found in the more common biographies of labor leaders and civil rights activists. His early life straddled the social worlds of his parent's Mexico and semi-rural America, where his father's success as an entrepreneur and property owner set his family's experiences apart from those of most other Mexicans at the time. 

His parents reinforced in their children an identity as mexicanos, and that connection with his ancestral roots was for Ruiz a lifejacket in the days of acute bigotry in America. In making an early, self-conscious commitment to a life of the mind, Ruiz became aware of his unique nature, and while not immune to prejudice he was able to make a name for himself in several endeavors. 

As a student, he attended college when few Mexican Americans were given that opportunity, and he was one of the first of his generation to earn a Ph.D. As an Army Air Force officer during World War II, he served as a pilot in the Pacific theatre. And as an intellectual, he navigated the currents of the historical profession and charted new directions in Latin American research through his prolific writing. Ruiz's career teaching took him to Mexico, Massachusetts, Texas, Oregon--often as the lone "Mexican professor," and ultimately back to his native California. 

While teaching at Smith, he exulted in being "free to interpret Spanish American life and culture to my heart's content," and at the University of California, San Diego, he saw the era of campus racial barrier give way to the birth of affirmative action. While at UCSD, he taught hundreds of Chicanos and trained one of the largest groups of Chicano Ph.D's. Memories of a Hyphenated Man is the story of a unique individual who, while shaped by his upbringing and drawing on deep cultural roots, steadfastly followed his own compass in life. It tells of a singular man who beat the odds as it poignantly addresses the ambiguities associated with race, class, citizenship, and nationality for Mexicans and Mexican Americans."

The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity

Lorraine M. Lopez will co-edit The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity [Paperback] on U of A Press. "The sheer number of different ethnic groups and cultures in the United States makes it tempting to classify them according to broad stereotypes, ignoring their unique and changing identities. Because of their growing diversity within the United States, Latinas and Latinos face this problem in their everyday lives. With cultural roots in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, or a variety of other locales, Hispanic-origin people in the United States are too often consigned to a single category. With this book Blas Falconer and Lorraine M. Lopez set out to change this.

The Other Latin@ is a diverse collection of essays written by some of the best emerging and established contemporary writers of Latin origin to help answer the question: How can we treat U.S. Latina and Latino literature as a definable whole while acknowledging the many shifting identities within their cultures? By telling their own stories, these authors illuminate the richness of their cultural backgrounds while adding a unique perspective to Latina and Latino literature.

This book sheds light on the dangers of abandoning identity by accepting cultural stereotypes and ignoring diversity within diversity. These contributors caution against judging literature based on the race of the author and lament the use of the term Hispanic to erase individuality. Honestly addressing difficult issues, this book will greatly contribute to a better understanding of Latina and Latino literature and identity." 

Johnson on Immigration

Kevin Johnson will release Immigration Law and the U.S.-Mexico Border: ¿S' se puede? (The Mexican American Experience) also on U of A Press."Americans from radically different political persuasions agree on the need to "fix" the "broken" US immigration laws to address serious deficiencies and improve border enforcement. In Immigration Law and the US-Mexico Border, Kevin Johnson and Bernard Trujillo focus on what for many is at the core of the entire immigration debate in modern America: immigration from Mexico.

In clear, reasonable prose, Johnson and Trujillo explore the long history of discrimination against US citizens of Mexican ancestry in the United States and the current movement against "illegal aliens"--persons depicted as not deserving fair treatment by US law. The authors argue that the United States has a special relationship with Mexico by virtue of sharing a 2,000-mile border and a "land-grab of epic proportions" when the United States "acquired" nearly two-thirds of Mexican territory between 1836 and 1853.

The authors explain US immigration law and policy in its many aspects--including the migration of labor, the place of state and local regulation over immigration, and the contributions of Mexican immigrants to the US economy. Their objective is to help thinking citizens on both sides of the border to sort through an issue with a long, emotional history that will undoubtedly continue to inflame politics until cooler, and better-informed, heads can prevail. 

The authors conclude by outlining possibilities for the future, sketching a possible movement to promote social justice. Great for use by students of immigration law, border studies, and Latino studies, this book will also be of interest to anyone wondering about the general state of immigration law as it pertains to our most troublesome border" 

Rascuache Lawyer

Also of interest on U of A Press this fall is Rascuache Lawyer: Toward a Theory of Ordinary Litigation [Paperback] by Alfredo Mirandé."Alfredo Mirandé, a sociology professor, Stanford Law graduate, and part-time pro bono attorney, represents clients who are rascuache--a Spanish word for "poor" or even "wretched"--and on the margins of society. For Mirandé, however, rascuache means to be "down but not out," an underdog who is still holding its ground. Rascuache Lawyer offers a unique perspective on providing legal services to poor, usually minority, folks who are often just one short step from jail. Not only a passionate argument for rascuache lawyering, it is also a thoughtful, practical attempt to apply and test critical race theory--particularly Latino critical race theory--in day-to-day legal practice.

Every chapter presents an actual case from Mirandé's experience (only the names and places have been changed). His clients have been charged with everything from carrying a concealed weapon, indecent exposure, and trespassing to attempted murder, domestic violence, and child abuse. Among them are recent Mexican immigrants, drug addicts, gang members, and the homeless. All of them are destitute, and many are victims of racial profiling. Some "pay" 

Mirandé with bartered services such as painting, home repairs, or mechanical work on his car. And Mirandé doesn't always win their cases. But, as he recounts, he certainly works tirelessly to pursue all legal remedies.

Each case is presented as a letter to a fascinating (fictional) "Super Chicana" named Fermina Gabriel, who we are told is an accomplished lawyer, author, and singer. This narrative device allows the author to present his cases as if he were recounting them to a friend, drawing in the reader as a friend as well.

Bookending the individual cases, Mirandé's introductions and conclusions offer a compelling vision of progressive legal practice grounded in rascuache lawyering"

Fall of Arte Publico Press

Arte Publico Press will release the Spanish edition of Los recuerdos de Ana Calderon/ Memories of Ana Calderon by Graciela Limon. It will be on paperback. 

Arte Publico will also release a book of essays by Rolando Hinojosa in November. 
It is called A Voice of My Own: Essays and Stories [Paperback]. Also by Arte Publico and by Hinojosa will be a Rafa Buenrostro Mystery called Partners in Crime.

Lorna's Next Poetry

Also remember, that Lorna Dee Cervantes next poetry collection's publication date was moved to the fall.

It is titled Ciento: 100 100-Word Love Poems and its on Wing Press.

Rigoberto's forthcoming

Rigoberto Gonzalez will release a book Black Blossoms on paperback off of . I thought it was a book of poems, but now I'm not sure.
It is published by Four Way Press and here's their description: "Black Blossoms offers a sustained exploration into the private lives of working class women of color and their difficult journeys. In surreal fairytales and magical biographies, Black Blossoms travels the U.S. and abroad: a daughter in Baja California tends to her sick father and watches for "the prince in his storybook tights"; "The Unsung Story of the Invisible Woman" in Phoenix, Arizona; the infamous New England spinster Lizzie Borden. A follow-up to Gonzalez's Other Fugitives and Other Strangers (which recounted male lives), Black Blossoms interweaves sex, death and violence: the tragedies of loving and losing."

El Paso Writers Update
We have also mentioned on our Facebook Page new books by Sergio Troncoso and Dagoberto Gilb coming out this fall. We'll have more on those books on the Blog on this weeks' El Paso Writers Update. Also, don't for get to check out our post "New Book Titles in May 2011: Chicano(a) Topics."
More fall previews next week.

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