Floricanto Press Biographies
The Armor of Love and Hope. By Doris Mercado. Yasmeen Namazie, Editor. ISBN 978-1494245993. $24.95.
This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses. Doris Mercado’s memoir is one of perseverance and reconciliation, reminiscent of Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life and Ernesto Galarza’s Barrio Boy. Her story is partly one of family but also one of self-reliance, recounting her troubled childhood in Ponce, Puerto Rico and also poverty and homelessness in Massachusetts. What I most admired in the work was the author’s frankness, her ability to portray family truths so intimately and honestly. –John Paul Jaramillo, author of The House of Order Stories.
Kirkus Review: Mercado’s memoir chronicles how a middle child from a large family experiences love, forgiveness and hope despite a lifetime of abuse, neglect and abandonment in the mountains of Puerto Rico. The memoir opens with scenes of an idyllic childhood. Mercado lived in a small town outside Ponce, Puerto Rico, where her life included colorful characters in a bustling community. There were eight children at the beginning of Mercado’s story, all battling to use a single bathroom and hairbrush. Doris’ mother, Lina, worked as a seamstress. She was stern, but she encouraged 4-year-old Doris to read the newspaper.
Doris’ father was well-liked and played affectionately with the children in their chaotic but happy household. Within two years, two more boys were born into the Mercado family; both needed extensive medical attention. The strain took its toll, and finally, the family moved in with Doris’ beloved grandmother in the mountain town of Jayuya. After the move, Doris’ life deteriorated. Her mother beat her repeatedly with a broomstick, and Doris spent many days nursing badly bruised limbs. Life continued to fall apart for the Mercado clan, particularly when Doris’ paternal grandmother invited Lina and the youngest children to New York for a fresh start.
Doris and five of her siblings were left in the care of their father, although it was 14-year-old Doris who assumed chief responsibility. Within days of her mother’s departure, Doris’ father also walked out without explanation, leaving Doris and the others to fend for themselves. This living arrangement continued for another three years. Doris warned the children to keep their situation secret, so they wouldn’t alert the authorities. This profoundly sad story of neglect is told in simple, direct language. Doris’ capacity for forgiveness is astonishing, as is her single-minded focus on the love she feels for the brothers and sister left in her care. She eventually moved to the U.S., and her reunification with her parents was filled with more pain and abuse. Mercado’s reaching adulthood in one piece is remarkable; arriving with her soul intact is miraculous. A straightforward, moving story about resilience.
Borrowing Time: A Latino Sexual Odyssey. By Carlos T. Mock, M.D. ISBN 0-915745-54-2. $24.95.
“Whatever your orientation, no matter your ethnicity, you’ll never be the same after a journey through this odyssey. A vivid and visceral portrayal of a sexual and political coming-of-age in today’s America—and beyond.” Laura S. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor, DePaul University; Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times.
“Gay literature is rich in so many areas, yet we still have a need for strong stories from the world of Latino culture—about family, about youth, about coming out, about creating adult relationships, about AIDS. Now, Carlos Mock give us a strong Puerto Rican story that deals with all these isues.” —Patricia Nell Warren, author of The Front Runner and The Wild Man.
Brotherhood of the Light: A novel of the Penitentes and Crypto-Jews of New Mexico. By Ray Michael Baca. ISBN 0-915745-66-6 $24.95
A novel about the un-easy and often misunderstood relationships of Crypto-Jews and Hispanos in New Mexico and their deep common roots in Spanish history--conquest and colonization--and religious faith and shared values.
Brotherhood of the Light follows the lives of three men from one family who lived in different centuries but were inexorably bound by the legacy of a cross that was brought from the Old World to the New. A relic that had come to prominence at the battle for Granada, when Spain united to expel the Moors. Descendants of Sephardic Jews who fled the Inquisition in Spain, the family joined Los Hermanos Penitentes. This secretive society of lay Catholic men in Northern New Mexico, who believe in emulating Christ’s Passion, his trial, his walk, and his suffering on the cross at the end of each Lenten season, was used for a dozen generations as a shield by the family to disguise their Crypto-Jewish identity while they struggled with the legacy bestowed upon them.
John Castillo lives in this century, and is in search of the cross which had become lost two-hundred years before. Spiritually, he is devoid of a true set of beliefs, as he is one who knows of the family’s past through inherited secret oral history. He is conflicted with who he is. Is he Catholic, or is he Jewish? Is he something because he was born into it, or is he something because he believes? The others in John’s long family history include Ramón Bernal de Castilla, a Sephardic Jew who leaves Spain in the 1590’s as a reluctant Conquistador, joins Juan de Oñate’s troops to settle Nuevo Mexico, and is the first keeper of the cross that originated in the forges of Castile. And, Andrés Castillo, a boy of thirteen in the early 1800’s taken as a slave by Navajo raiders. Having hidden the cross in a desperate attempt to save it, he returns decades later to the hiding place with his son and grandsons as a tribute to the spiritual wealth it has brought to them all.
Moving seamlessly between the past and present, weaving together the intricacies of religious fundamentalism, unwavering faith, and a true passion for knowing one's past, Ray Michael Baca takes us on a journey into the stark, beautiful desert, and the romantic valley of the Rio Grande, where Spanish dreams and Native souls have clashed and then lived as neighbors for 400 years. The text of this gripping story is written in English, Spanish and Ladino. LECTOR
Ray Michael Baca was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1959, and grew up in the small town of Bernalillo. He attended Navajo Community College in Tsaile, Arizona, and since 1981 has made his career in the business sector. On leaving New Mexico in 1988, he contended “I have been trying to make my way back home ever since.”
A Century of Pachangas. By Betty Serra. ISBN: 978-1491259207 $19.95
This is a publication of Floricanto Press. A Century of Pachangas (parties) is a deluxe package of celebrations, featuring ribbon-cutting family drama. The helium balloons in this pachanga are a series of inflated scandals due to infidelity, lunatic rage and psychological imbalances. Like all families, there is loss and tragedy, but resilience triumphs over their fixations and shortcomings. This family memoir focuses on the author’s maternal side of the family, starting with Rosa Balladares, born in 1884 in Managua, Nicaragua. Orphaned at the age of two, Rosa grew up quickly and left her uncle’s unhappy home within a decade. Relatively a young teen, she achieved total independence and later transformed herself into a woman that ruled her household with absoluteness, dispensing proclamations as if a medieval dungeon awaited anyone who failed to follow her majestic orders. Unlike most women of her era, she was skilled in the art of fist-fighting, shooting pistols and swordplay. And although she couldn’t read or write, she was brilliant in that she ran a house, a business and scoundrels out of town. The first half of the memoir (beginning in 1884) introduces the core of the Balladares Family, which consists of Rosa, the wandering husband she threatened to shoot and five daughters who survived into adulthood. The women turned out inflexible, controlling and overbearing, just like their mother. They had the audacity to want to set the world straight in the midst of their own family chaos and meltdowns. The few men who came to know or love them were forcibly exiled, and the grandchildren were indisputably named Balladares. It wasn’t until the next generation, particularly those born in the U.S.A. when the Balladares surname lost its elasticity to band everyone and the newborns were named after their fathers. The second half of the memoir (beginning in 1952) highlights the immigration of a few Balladares women into the States and their wacky adventures. The author, a Balladares descendent, reminisces over her childhood memories, the merging of two colorful cultures and the meddling of Latin American relatives dropping in and out, causing insurmountable disturbances. Each of the Balladares women reappears, sporadically throughout the memoir. They’re all much older, but not necessarily wiser. Oftentimes, it’s their children or grandchildren who complete the lesson for them. Still, it’s mind-blowing how their fiery spirit enabled them to reach another country, cross into a new century and stamp the Balladares imprint of tenacity onto subsequent generations.
Forthcoming: Release date August 3rd.
César Chávez y la Unión: una historia victoriosa de los de abajo. By Víctor Fuentes. Leyla Namazie, editor. ISBN 978-1511639934. $24.95.
To be published by Floricanto Press, this ground-breaking book—written in Spanish—by Dr. Víctor Fuentes, Professor Emeritus of the University of California, is the most comprehensive illustrated and well-documented biography of César Chávez. It describes his life and strife as a labor and political leader of farm workers in the California fields of tears. This is a social, political and agricultural labor biography of the unique and well suited leader that helped bring about such landmark improvements of farm workers’ welfare and economic conditions. Inspired by advocates of nonviolence, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, he sought to redress economic deficiencies and injustices in the agricultural fields of California. He was the driving force behind seminal events, such as the creation of the United Farm Workers Union, the organization of nationwide boycotts and marches against the large farming enterprises and growers. Deeply religious and committed to the cause, La Causa, Cesar Chávez lived to see the gains he had so hardly fought for. The book is greatly complemented by rare photographs of his life and the labor struggles he successfully led. Leyla Namazie, LatinoBooks.net
Este importante libro biográfico e ilustrado es publicado por Floricanto Press. Conmemorando el 50 aniversario del gran triunfo de la Huelga de la Uva, iniciada el verano de 1965, este libro compagina el estudio de la historia de la Unión de Campesinos con el de la persona de César Chávez. Se divide en dos partes con ocho capítulos.
La primera parte, tras evocar cómo César, de niño y adolescente, vivió en carne propia la explotación y el sufrimiento de los campesinos, y de tratar de su forja como gran líder comunitario y laboral, se ocupa de la gesta que llevó a la Unión, bajo su dirección, a lograr algo antes nunca conseguido en la historia del país por los trabajadores campesinos. En la segunda parte, se historia de cómo, y con sus altibajos, la Unión llegó a un gran ápice a mediados y finales de los años 70. Con su infatigable dinamismo y entrega, César Chávez, en su última década, se mantuvo vivo, para los otros, hasta la muerte. Y el grito liberador de la Unión y de la Causa campesina, “Sí se puede”, se ha convertido en un grito universal de cuantos luchan contra fuerzas detractoras aparentemente inexpugnables.
Chalino: A Chronicle Play of Fulgor and Death=Una Crónica Teatral de Fulgor y Muerte. By Julián Camacho Segura. ISBN 978-1481022002. $22.95.
With “Chalino,” Julian Camacho writes about a raw, unflinching Mexican icon with an unapologetic honesty only he can provide. He excels at bringing this story to larger than life tale because he possesses one of the most experienced voices among his contemporaries.” Oscar Barajas, Author, “True Tales from the Wireless Clothesline.” Rosalino “Chalino” Sánchez was a Mexican immigrant from the Mexican state of Sinaloa who came to the US in search of opportunity. In his pursuit of perseverance his gift and talent for writing corridos for the common working class man initiated a world wind phenomena that appealed to Mexican-American youth in Los Angeles, California. Chalino’s corridos provided a cultural medium in which Chicanos identified with their own roots.
Cinco De Mayo: A comprehensive Illustrated History. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña. ISBN 978-1483923970. $20.95.
The somber reality of foreign naval invasion of Mexico by three major world powers, Spain, Britain and France constituted the prelude to the Battle of Cinco de Mayo. Spain was the first country to have the troops ready for the invasion of Mexico. General Serrano, Commanding General of Cuba, then still a Spanish possession, prepared three army divisions, who were shipped in 13 frigates and supported by 13 transport ships, all under the command of Marine Commanding General Joaquín Gutiérrez de Ruvalcaba. The Spanish troops occupied the castle of San Juan de Ultia and the Port of Veracruz on December 17, 1861. Great Britain sent a naval infantry detachment of 700 soldiers and occupied the ports of Veracruz and Tampico on January 6, 1862. On January 8, a French infantry regiment arrived comprised of nine companies, including cavalry, artillery, experienced African Zouaves, and African Escorts (Cazadores). This setting was the beginning of the conflict which led to the Battle of Puebla on Cinco de Mayo, 1862. The author provides a most detailed account of the forces and activities of the French and Mexican sides, during the last three days before, the day of and the day after the battle itself. Examines also the inspiring history of a triumphant Chicano general, Ignacio Zaragoza, (1829-1862), born in a period of international conflicts and forced to flee from his home as a youth because of the American settler's revolt in Texas in 1836. It includes nine patriotic poems (Spanish-English parallel text) written in California between 1864 and 1865 commemorating CINCO DE MAYO and published for the first time in monographic form. Unquestionably, this is the definitive history book on The Battle of Puebla on the Cinco de Mayo, 1862. "This is an amazingly interesting work of historical narrative on Cinco de Mayo dating from 1861, California 1864-1865, and its geopolitical ramifications; ably introduced with a compilation of illustrations from the period." Dr. Namazie
Clay Hills and Mud Pies. By Annie Mary Pérez. ISBN 978-1481184809. $14.95.
Skeletons abound in this revealing but poignant biography recounting a Mexican American family’s one hundred year history in the United States. Three Memoirs in one, this San Diego Book Awards Finalist is rich with Mexican folklore and Americana. In Book One, which opens with a ghost story, the author describes her father’s life growing up motherless in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It includes early memories of sleeping in abandoned houses, working for his aunt, who was a bootlegger, riding the rails as a youth, serving in World War II, and finally, marrying her mother in February of 1946. In Book Two she describes her mother’s life growing up on a dairy farm in Mesilla, New Mexico during the Depression. It includes early memories of picking cotton as a child and the first of a series of prophetic dreams. It also includes stories of her grandmother’s encounter with the Twelve Apostles and her grandfather’s finding buried treasure. In Book Three, she describes her own life growing up in a Los Angeles barrio, early memories of domestic violence, her parents’ divorce, caring for her parents in their declining years, and ultimately, dealing with the loss. The book concludes with her father’s philosophies on youth and life. “Young people especially will benefit from this pleasant read. They will feel inspired to set their own goals.” Ambassador Julián Nava.
The Delirium of Simon Bolivar. El delirio de Simón Bolívar. By Tina Datsko de Sánchez, Edited by Roberto Cabello-Argandoña, Translated with commentary by José Sánchez-H., Prologue by Edward James Olmos. ISBN 978-1888205343. $25.95.
This is a joint Spanish/English bilingual publication of Floricanto Press and Berkeley Presses. INTERNATIONAL PRAISE FOR THE DELIRIUM OF SIMON BOLIVAR “Beautifully exploring the theme that ‘only those who see the invisible can do the impossible,’ this exciting, lucid, and often heartbreaking collection of poems tracks the life and consciousness of the great Liberator Simon Bolivar. There are poems that tell us how he was loved, what freedom means in today’s Latin America, how he felt as he contemplated death and exile, and much, much more. Looking at this towering figure from countless separate angles and through countless lenses, we begin to understand the man who sought ‘to challenge/ like Don Quixote/ what all believe they see.’ A must read.” —José Rivera Academy Award® nominee for Best Adapted Screenplay (The Motorcycle Diaries)
“An important topic, never before so deeply explored in poetry.” —Jorge Ruiz Bolivian pioneer filmmaker and winner of the Smithsonian’s James Smithson Bicentennial Medal (Come Back, Sebastiana)
“Tina Datsko de Sánchez’s book, The Delirium of Simón Bolívar, seems to me an important work. Her desire to make known in the USA an historical figure so extraordinary, courageous and lucid is an admirable goal. It reveals the degree of Tina’s spirituality, which moves her to bring back a lost but necessary memory and share with her compatriots the presence of a human being of absolute greatness as was Simón Bolívar. Her verses struck me as very beautiful, with a notable capacity of synthesis, and holders of the undeniable emotion of doing something for all.” —Jorge Sanjines Cannes Film Festival Winner of the Great Young Directors Award (That’s the Way It Is)
“The Delirium of Simón Bolívar brings to life, through inspired poetry, a life that should be known by all.” —Ligiah Villalobos Writer/Producer and winner of the Estela Award (Under the Same Moon)
“Every verse is music, philosophy, pure magic. Different compositions, at times, refer to the history of a true hero, the nostalgia for a “mythic time” where everything seems to have paused forever. The author also refers at times to things that can seem simple, but with the punctuality of the cruel reality of a fierce suffering, as if making it normal and part of daily life. All of that carries the reader to another dimension; her poetry in this sense might be called almost “magic.” Poems that travel across time and space, among the infinite dimensions of the universe. The metaphors that are included in the volume are also of an artistic depth without equal. The author is an architect of poetry that is sincere, authentic, and spontaneous. One might say it is poetry inspired by the instinct of the heart.” —Valentina Casagrande ARCI – FILMSTUDIO ’90 de Varese
The Druglord. By Neissa, Peter A. ISBN 091574526. $22.95.
It is the true life story of Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha, the drug lord of the Bogota branch of the Colombian Drug Cartel, this historical novel offers a factual and knowledgeable Colombian perspective that well connected Colombians have known for years: the real Drug Cartel, a group consisting of over two-hundred drug traffickers, met for the first time in 1976, not to discuss drugs, but to devise a solution to the kidnapping and murders inflicted upon them by the Marxist guerrillas. This led to cooperation on other matters --like cocaine. The Drug Lord, born an outcast in 1952, during Colombia's bloody civil war, rose from poverty to multi-billionaire status in the violent world of cocaine traffic. It is the gripping story of the Drug Lord's history when at age six, he witnesses the massacre of his family by the Colombian Army. It shows his involvement with the adolescent city gang, El Centro, which controlled Colombia's lucrative emerald black market, to the Cartel's development from a national to international status.
The Cubans: Our Legacy in the United States: A collective biography. By Fernando Hernández. ISBN: 978-1888205411 $23.95
This is a publication of Floricanto Press. The Cubans: Our Legacy in the United States chronicles the Cuban immigration to the United States from the 1800s to the present era. The author analyzes the impact the Cuban community has had on the cultural, economic, social, sports, and political scene in American society throughout multiple generations. Cuban immigrants have been one of the most successful communities in the United States. The book examines the contribution to baseball from Martín Dihigo to Tony Pérez and from Ernesto Lecuona to Gloria Estefan in music. In business circles the reader will discover that The Coca Cola Company, the Kellogg Company and McDonalds Corporation had Cuban-born Chief Executive Officers and that Movado watch company was owned by a refugee who fled communist Cuba. The book vividly depicts more than 250 extraordinary and intriguing men and women that make for engrossing and captivating reading.
The Great Latino Revolt, Oscar Zeta Acosta, and the Birth of the Latino Insurrection. By Burton Moore. Edited by Roberto Cabello-Argandoña and Yasmeen Namazie. ISBN 978-1482773781. $14.95.
This is a joint publication of Floricanto Press and Berkeley Press. Buffalo, as he was known in the barrios of Los Angeles among street people, at the height of the riots in in the late 1960’s and 7O’s, was the epitome of the Movimiento. He was smart, rebellious, unpredictable, occasionally high on drugs, but terrifyingly honest to himself and the world. This is the story of the rage and fury that swept LA during the gestation of the Movimiento Chicano and of the remarkable life of Oscar Zeta Acosta, a radical civil-rights lawyer who defended Chicano activists, won new rights for Latinos, and challenged the LA estab1ishment. Burton Moore, a journalist and writer who worked with Attorney Acosta, witnessed many of the events that swept Los Angeles into a new age. He recounts the famous school walk-outs, the confrontations with the Catholic Church, the arson at the Biltmore Hotel, the rebellion in the streets, the Chicano protest at UCLA, and the Moratorium Riot, which ended with the untimely death of Ruben Salazar. These events are pictured against a background of life in East Los Angeles a generation ago. It is written as a tribute to that generation and to the young men and women who were inspired by the Movimiento. The author covers the legal skirmishes orchestrated by Oscar Acosta following the riots of the late 1960’s—to free vatos y carnales from incarceration and police brutality—and provides an intimate biography replete with little known facts of his life from his youth to his untimely and mysterious death. Acosta emerges as a towering leader capable of inspiring and rallying the community in the streets, mesmerizing the TV audiences, and defending effectively the rioters in court. A restless man who was in conflict with himself, and able in the end to endure his own nightmares. Burton Moore was a renowned journalist, and social critic on the tradition of Oscar Lewis and Michael Harrington. Upon nearing the completion of this hook, he, and his family, were unexpectedly informed of his impending death of cancer. Burton Moore bravely carried on this important testimony of social injustice in the barrios of L.A. He had set to accomplish it, most elegantly. A seemingly simple, but elusive and daunting task of explaining the events and historical roots at play on a series of riots in the Mexican American community in the decades of 1970s and 1980s through the tale of the life of one of the most tenacious leaders of those volatile times, Oscar Zeta Acosta. Burton Moore has legated to his family, friends, and the Latino community in general, and the Mexican American community, in particular, which he so much loved, a clear and invaluable insight that social justice is a conditio sine qua non for social peace. Undoubtedly, he embarked on warning America that disparities of wealth, education, and opportunities, and racism will inevitably lead to periodic social disruptions. Burton Moore shall not be a vox clamantis in desertus, a lonely voice in the desert, but an unequivocal J’accuse, a historical indictment to an unjust society. He regarded nothing which concerned man as alien to his interests: homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto. We shall keep his voice alive for years to come, and as new generations of Americans emerge, they shall learn of his message of social peace and justice. Burton Moore you shall be missed Resquiscat In Pacem, amicus noster. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña.
Island of Dreams. By Jasminne Méndez. ISBN 978-1493580880. $13.95.
“My family has been forced to live like an island with no political party, president, or official language. We are not of any “new world” Columbus discovered. We are not Dominican enough or American enough to call either place home. We live and love with one foot on the ground and one foot in the sea.” This is how Jasminne Méndez describes what it was like for her to grow up a Dominican American military brat. Always feeling like a foreigner in both lands because people want to know “where you from,” and “how do you know Spanish?” In "Island of Dreams," author Jasminne Méndez, addresses these questions and their complicated answers in a multi-genre memoir that effortlessly blends poems and short stories to offer a glimpse into the challenges, joys, hopes, fears and disappointments she and her family faced being Dominican in America. Her work explores everything from the love/hate relationship she had with her hair and her mother, to the many memorable but sometimes unpleasant family vacations and holidays she shared with her parents, siblings, primos, tíos, y tías. These captivating stories and poems are about family, food, love, culture, self-discovery, assimilation, and the American dream. They are about a young girl who respects the richness and abundance of her cultural history, but who struggles to form her own identity because her Dominican values conflict with her American self and all she wants to do is find a place to call home. Join memoir-writer Jasminne Méndez in this luscious recalling of her family’s multi-faceted sojourn of family ties and their meaning, glorious cooking and eating, belonging and not belonging, and so many other complicated forays into the storied past. Sarah Cortéz, author, Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston.
Jasminne builds bridges between many worlds. Her potent voice conjures images of the Dominican Republican, Texas, Houston, the world. I've had the pleasure of seeing her perform in person. She is amazing in 3D. Actually, she performs in 6D-adding spirit, whimsy, and the future. She code-switches so brilliantly that you don't notice that she has jumped from Spanish to English to Spanglish to universal themes and back. Her work not only stands up on the page but takes on new meaning with potency, shattering barriers, breaking borders. This book will boggle your mind and thrill you. Tony Díaz, El Librotraficante, founder of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say.
Latina Filmmakers and Writers: The Notion of Chicanisma through Films and Novellas. Jenny Dean. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-1-6. $24.95.
During the Chicano Movement in the 1960s and 1970s, Chicanas helped Chicanos achieve equal rights, while at the same time suffered oppression as women wihin their own race. In the 1970s, the Chicana Feminist Movement was founded to address the specific needs of Chicanas as women of color in the United States. Chicana artists began to write and produce works in which Chicanas were given a proper name, voice, and image. Soon, Chicanisma, a sense of sisterhood and feminist discourse, emerged to confront the triple oppression of race, class, and gender.
Latina Filmmakers and Writers: The Notion of Chicanisma Through Films and Novellas examines the works of seven celebrated Latinas who collectively represent a 20-year history of Chicanisma: Chicana (a film by Sylvia Morales), Puppet: A Chicano Novella (a book by Margarita Cota-Cárdenas), La Ofrenda: The Days of the Dead (a film by Lourdes Portillo and Susana Muñoz), Paletitas de Guayaba (a book by Erlinda Gonzáles-Berry), El Espejo/The Mirror (a film by Frances Salomé España) and Loving Pedro Infante (a book by Denise Chávez). These works demystify masculine power and offer realistic portrayals of Chicanas and give them a rightful name, image, and voice in American culture.
Latina Icons: Iconos Femeninos Latinos e hispanoamericanos.André, María Claudia.La Mujer Latina Series ISBN: 978-0-915745-85-2. $26.95
This book brings the most prominent Latina icons, popular female figures, and offers the most important clear description of the process of iconization of famous cherished Latin American women. It attempts to define and provide meaning to these notable women within the context of popular symbols and the function these women played in the construction of their individual and collective Latina identity. La Malinche, the movie actress María Félix, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, María Ilonza, Frida Khalo, Selena, Yemayá, Carmen Miranda, and Malena, the woman object of a most notable Tango, are among the figures discussed in this highly recommended book.
Esta colección de ensayos explora los procesos de representación y de iconización de algunas de las figuras femeninas más prominentes de América Latina. En ella se intenta definir qué significado tienen estas figuras dentro del contexto popular y determinar cuál es la función que desempeñan en la construcción de una identidad colectiva e individual. La Malinche, la actriz del cine María Félix, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, María Ilonza, Frida Khalo, Selena, Yamayá, Carmen Miranda, y Malena, la mujer centro del tango mas famoso escrito, son las figuras femeninas aquí discutidas extensivamente en este extraordinario libro.
Latina Mistress. R.F. Sánchez. ISBN: 978-0-915745-91-3. $24.95.
This story is about young and pretty illegal alien women in El Paso, Texas, who unknowingly fall or conveniently acquiesce to the sexual demands of their male employers, who most happen to be Anglo Americans. Much what has been written about El Paso and the southwest is about its history, its settlers, its movers and its heroes. Latina Mistress, however, is about ordinary people, illegal aliens, their loves, hates, beliefs, and more importantly their circumstances. The events which take place in the novel intersect the Hispanic and Anglo worlds, with their own good and evil characters. This novel follows the long tradition of historical fiction in the sense that all the anecdotes told here are actually true, although the names have been changed to protect the guilty. The author gathered these very human stories through years of observation as well as personal experience and much research.
The author and his wife, Helen, actually knew personally Berta, one of the tragic heroines of this novel. He also interviewed scores of males and females of both cultures attesting to the accuracy of the story. What is a young and beautiful illegal alien to do to survive two alien worlds, the Hispanic and Anglo worlds, with their own good and evil characters? The answer is shivering in its clarity: whatever is required.
This novel depicts the dramatic lives of two beautiful sisters, both illegal aliens, and how some people take advantage of their weakness and their sex. In this sense this novel is a classic tale of what has always occurred with the disadvantaged all along; the powerful taking advantage of the weaker and more disadvantaged members of society.
Latino and Latina Leaders of the 21st Century: Ordinary Beginnings, Extraordinary Outcomes. García , Kayla (Kay). ISBN: 978-1888205480 $24.95
This book is published jointly by Floricanto Press and Berkeley Press. Latino issues are everybody’s issues. The Latino and Latina leaders portrayed in this book have made valuable contributions to our social, legal, political and educational systems. This book provides comprehensive stories of courageous men and women who have defied expectations, overcome adversity, set precedents, and dedicated significant time and energy to helping others achieve their goals. Active locally, nationally, and internationally in a variety of professions, these individuals offer proof that ordinary or even humble origins can lead to extraordinary accomplishments. This collective biography expounds on well-known and otherwise Latino leaders who are at the front of their fields. It includes well-known individuals, such as Sonia Sotomayor, First Latina on the Supreme Court; Dolores Huerta, Union Organizer and Community Activist; Jorge Ramos, News Anchor and Advocate; John Haroldson and María Chávez-Haroldson, District Attorney and Leadership Facilitator; and Sandra Cisneros, Author and Activist. It includes, as well, many others, such as Julián Castro, Mayor of San Antonio; Nydia Velázquez, Representative for New York; Luis Gutiérrez, Representative for Illinois; Marco Rubio, Senator for Florida. It also comprises leaders in fields of education, community activism, and literary figures such as Cherríe Moraga, Advocate for LGBTQ, Latinos, and Indigenous People, and Elena Poniatowska, an internationally known ally to Latinos.
Líderes latinos del siglo XXI: Latinas y latinos que están transformando la sociedad. Kayla S. García. ISBN-13: 978-1888205527. $26.95
Los líderes y activistas latinos retratados en este libro están transformando nuestra sociedad. Han hecho contribuciones significativas a nuestros sistemas legal, político y educacional. Este texto incluye historias comprensivas de hombres y mujeres que han desafiado las bajas expectativas de sus maestros, han superado serias adversidades, han establecido importantes precedentes sociales y han dedicado muchísimo tiempo ayudando a otras personas a conseguir sus propias metas. Estos individuos siguen activos en una gran variedad de profesiones y organizaciones a nivel local, estatal, nacional, e internacional. Sus vidas constituyen pruebas irrefutables de que es posible superar obstáculos tales como la pobreza, la discriminación, las enfermedades graves, y las agotadoras responsabilidades familiares para arribar a metas sobresalientes.
Matadores: Latino Bullfighters en el Ruedo de Toros. Dale Pierce. ISBN: 978-1-888205-07-7. $23.95.
Matadores is a unique, solid, and authoritative collective biography covering the career of various Latino and a few American toreros, who performed in the old Plaza Monumental de Toros of Ciudad Juárez over the plaza’s five decades of operation. This detailed reference book includes over 200 biographies of matadores, novilleros, rejoneadores, picadores, banderilleros and even a handful of writers who were regulars in the plaza. There is an ample selection of both famous and not-so-famous names. Among the biographies covering high points of their careers are Calesero, Luis Procuna, Carlos Arruza, Armillita, the Capetillos, Fernando Dos Santos, Finito, Inclusero, García Higuras, Francisco Ruiz Miguel, Cordobés, Mario Sevilla, Caleserito, Marian Ramos, Manolo Martínez, Eloy Cavazos, Curro Rivera, Curro Leal, Geno, David Renk, Jesús Solórzano, Fabián Ruiz, Jaime Bravo, Guillermo Montes Sortibrán, Jose Antonio Gaona, Bernardo Valencia, John Fulton, Patricia McCormick, Rogelio Leduc, Fabián Barba, Gastón Santos, and many others. Mr. Pierce also pays tribute to what may well have been one of the greatest days in the Monumental bullring during the 1979 season, when a rejoneador and three mediocre toreros gave the showing of their respective lifetimes to the dreaded toros de Casablancas, the bull ranch owned by impresario Hurtado. Large, difficult to handle by inexperienced matadors and with unshaven horns, no figures would face examples of this herd. Thus, the lesser-knowns with something to gain would take chances with them. Gastón Santos, John Fulton, Bernardo Valencia and Rogelio Leduc did so, cutting a total of seven ears before the afternoon was over. Matadores is not only an authoritative reference source of toreros Latinos, but it also pays homage to the arte taurina, las faenas, to both bullfighter and bulls, to the extraordinary men who have kept and still keep alive an ancestral Hispanic cultural tradition.
Migrant Earth. Ramón Mesa Ledesma. ISBN:13: 978-1888205534. $22.95
Migrant Earth very eloquently documents the travels and travails of a family of Mexican migrant workers as they wander the Western United States in the nineteen forties and fifties. These are poignant tales that paint the life and death struggle of a family living on the periphery of a dominant white culture that simultaneously loathed and needed them. They owned but the clothes on their backs and lived in rat infested, dilapidated agricultural labor camps throughout the Pacific Northwest. They worked from sunup to sundown in pesticide laced fields under scorching, unrelenting summer suns. While wandering the countryside working the fields--white society was too genteel to harvest--they dreamed of better times and the safety of a piece of land they could call home. Ultimately they were able to save enough to purchase a small thirty acre farm in Eastern Washington. But just when the hard life seemed over, his padres divorced and mamá with nine children in tow was sent back on the migrant labor circuit.
A Most Memorable Quinceañera. Una Quinceañera Muy Memorable. LeslieConcepción. ISBN: 978-1494253776 $14.95
This is a publication of Floricanto Press. “Saying goodbye to childhood is never easy.” The magical day, when a girl can play out her own fairytale fantasy and be a princess for a day, is her Quinceañera, and for Mimi that day has finally arrived. But instead of the excitement and jubilation she is expected to feel, all she can summon is uneasy dread and anxiety about what this day means. Her parents have been planning this event her whole life and Mimi is filled with the weight of their expectations, to act like a proper lady and know what to do. She doesn't know what to do and can’t comprehend how an archaic ceremony can change the way people see her, and how she could be a woman just because the calendar marks her a day older. Mimi doesn’t want people to treat her differently and no amount of rehearsing can mask the insecurities she feels. To make matters worse her cousin, Lala, picks the day of Mimi's Quinceañera to reveal she is pregnant, and it's only been a year after her very own Quinceañera. Mimi is distraught and believes that is what happens when parents, family, and society, rush a girl into womanhood. This is all the more reason for Mimi not to accept the tradition of publically becoming a woman.
This is a coming of age story about two cousins, who are the best of friends. While her cousin, Lala is thrilled to enter womanhood, Mimi is not so enthusiastic and doesn’t feel she is ready for all the social responsibilities that come along with being a woman. The girls will learn to stick together and that the bond between family is stronger than any rite of passage. A very elaborate descriptive and story about the conflicts and tribulations in a young girls’ life as she enters womanhood. Everyone needs a Tia Emmi in their life. By Judy Paneto-Roman
Great book about the the Quinceañera culture. As a mom of a soon to be teenager, I will pass down this book to my daughter so that she can learn about the culture and the importance of family. Jessica Cortez
A most memorable story I was quickly captivated by this story, as I can certainly relate to all the drama and prepping that goes into planning "Sweet 15" Quinceañera it's something we all look forward to when coming of age, Leslie's story is definitely something I would hand my daughter prior to her Quinceañera. Veronica Paneto Mimi’s character transported me back to a time in my life where I was caught between innocence and the impending “Real” world. Her struggle is personal and heartwarmingly portrayed and I was easily wrapped up in the story. Deborah Rosa, MA
Mourning for Papá: A Story of a Syrian-Jewish Family in Mexico. By Jacobo Sefamí. ISBN: 978-1-888205-31-2. $23.95.
Using the death of the father as a point of departure, the novel is divided into ten chapters, a structure that is particularly effective because the chapters correspond to the ten days that begin on the Jewish New Year and end on the Day of Pardon... Thus the mythic time of a millenarian religion such as Judaism is strategically juxtaposed to the recapturing of a family's memory that is both contemporary and unmistakably Mexican . . . The dialogues are tinged with Jewish humor -Jorge Schwartz
Each character lives simultaneously within three cultures -Jewish, Syrian, and Mexican-in a hybrid narration that produces fascinating mixtures -Lucía Guerra The representation of a state of mind throughout the novel is magnificent, particularly since he dares to portray a personal story as it pertains to both a collective consciousness and to the alienation that is caused by death... The blend of comedy and tragedy is maintained throughout the novel, in the best Jewish tradition, as established by Fernando de Rojas. I certainly enjoy the interweaving of languages and linguistic varieties. It is a pleasure to see such linguistic complexity sustained throughout the entire novel, without ever faltering. -José Kozer
A Most Memorable Quinceañera. Una Quinceañera Muy Memorable. By Leslie Concepción. ISBN: 978-1494253776 $14.95
This is a publication of Floricanto Press. “Saying goodbye to childhood is never easy.” The magical day, when a girl can play out her own fairytale fantasy and be a princess for a day, is her Quinceañera, and for Mimi that day has finally arrived. But instead of the excitement and jubilation she is expected to feel, all she can summon is uneasy dread and anxiety about what this day means. Her parents have been planning this event her whole life and Mimi is filled with the weight of their expectations, to act like a proper lady and know what to do. She doesn't know what to do and can’t comprehend how an archaic ceremony can change the way people see her, and how she could be a woman just because the calendar marks her a day older. Mimi doesn’t want people to treat her differently and no amount of rehearsing can mask the insecurities she feels. To make matters worse her cousin, Lala, picks the day of Mimi's Quinceañera to reveal she is pregnant, and it's only been a year after her very own Quinceañera. Mimi is distraught and believes that is what happens when parents, family, and society, rush a girl into womanhood. This is all the more reason for Mimi not to accept the tradition of publically becoming a woman. This is a coming of age story about two cousins, who are the best of friends. While her cousin, Lala is thrilled to enter womanhood, Mimi is not so enthusiastic and doesn’t feel she is ready for all the social responsibilities that come along with being a woman. The girls will learn to stick together and that the bond between family is stronger than any rite of passage. A very elaborate descriptive and story about the conflicts and tribulations in a young girls’ life as she enters womanhood. Everyone needs a Tia Emmi in their life. By Judy Paneto-Roman Great book about the the Quinceañera culture. As a mom of a soon to be teenager, I will pass down this book to my daughter so that she can learn about the culture and the importance of family. Jessica Cortez A most memorable story I was quickly captivated by this story, as I can certainly relate to all the drama and prepping that goes into planning "Sweet 15" Quinceañera it's something we all look forward to when coming of age, Leslie's story is definitely something I would hand my daughter prior to her Quinceañera. Veronica Paneto Mimi’s character transported me back to a time in my life where I was caught between innocence and the impending “Real” world. Her struggle is personal and heartwarmingly portrayed and I was easily wrapped up in the story. Deborah Rosa, MA A Most Memorable Quinceañera, is a wonderfully human and culturally sensitive story about a Latina girl's passage from childhood to womanhood. Mrs. Concepcion captures all the fears and apprehensions of this passage from a young person's point of view and allows her characters to make mistakes and misjudgments along the way. The author's interweaving of the Quinceañera ceremony makes for a fascinating exploration of growing up. In the end, the greatest discovery is that no one has to fear the future if there is love and support around you. Gayle S. Hoffman, MSW, ACSW.
Mujeres de Conciencia/ Women of Conscience. By Victoria Alvarado. Spanish English parallel text and photography. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-7-8. 2008 $75.00 Oversize Hardbound.
This is an art book with magnificent black and white photos of prominent Latinas who have made definite and long standing contribution to the Hispanic community and the country at large. This photographic essay constitutes an important collective biography as well, with great journalistic insight and integrity into the lives of leading Latina women in the fields of education, science, literature, business, law, the arts, journalism, politics, and other fields of endeavor. This coffee table monograph, which has been published with art-book quality as a collector's edition, provides stunning artistic, B&W photographs of each subject with a parallel biographic journalistic essay in Spanish and English. The biographies explore the life-changing events of each subject, the personal mix of elements, circumstances, and values which allowed these women to set goals and objectives toward most successful careers and contributions to society.
There are 72 leading women included in this collective biography and an extraordinary photographic essay offering the most incredible array of role models to inspire, guide and motivate young Latinas.
The One of a Kind. By David Montoya. Edited by Donald Elder. ISBN:978-1973725961. $14.95. 6" x 9" 130 pages
Biography Latino Hispanic book, Chicano literature book, Latino literature book, Latino memoir Book
This book is published by Floricanto Press. www.FloricantoPress.com
While the United States has taken great strides towards equality since the end of the Second World War, some citizens have found that journey more tortuous than others. David Montoya, a lifelong resident of New Mexico, certainly falls into that category. After a relatively uneventful childhood spent in northern New Mexico, his life changed dramatically at the age of eleven when his family relocated to the eastern part of the state. For the first time in his life, he faced overt and often violent hostility because of his ethnicity. Refusing to accept the discriminatory attitudes prevalent at the time simply, David decided instead to live life on his terms. Facing numerous obstacles along the way—including a period of incarceration in the New Mexico State Penitentiary—David managed to become a skilled craftsman and respected member of the community of Portales, New Mexico. Supported by his family and sustained by his faith, David Montoya stands as an example of how an American citizen can help to overcome prejudice and help move the nation closer to a true equality for all. Dr. Donald Elder
Papi Chulo. Carlos T. Mock. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-0-9. $24.95.
"If self-identity is a crucial issue in this literature, then national identity is what Carlos Mock addresses; and Papi Chulo, actually is the story of a country as seen through the eyes and lives of three strong women of several generations. For Carlos Mock, the theme is felt so strongly that it must be openly expressed. "To Puerto Ricans, I've become an American. But to Americans of Puerto Rican descent, I'm insufficiently Puerto Rican because I've not undergone the years of prejudice they have." So the question becomes, who are any of these characters, these authors, these people? And we've not yet begun to explore other themes of this writing: machismo versus homosexuality, male versus female, and how or even why that should alter to catch up to the rest of the world. Or the role of the various religions--Catholicism versus Santeria, for example--that permeates in the novel. So much to read. So much to think of. Meanwhile welcome to this new line of Floricanto gay Hispanic books. I hope you enjoy the work, as much as I've enjoyed it." Felice Picano
The Secret of a Long Journey. Sandra Shwayder Sánchez. Edited by Yasmeen Namazie and Roberto Cabello-Argandoña. ISBN 978-1480285033. $24.95.
The Secret of a Long Journey is the story of a cherished and dangerous secret, passed along from generation to generation through many lands and many perils: from Spain to Flanders across the ocean to Vera Cruz and up through the desert to what is now New Mexico. In magical realist style, this chronicle takes the Sephardic characters through the terrors of the Inquisition, shipwrecks and hurricanes, sandstorms and wars, lost loves and illness, all culminating when Lois Gold, a passionate court advocate for the disenfranchised, discovers the legacy of her lost grandfather.
“In The Secret of a Long Journey, Sánchez moves effortlessly through time and place with a mesmerizing plot. Generations come and go and each one propels the next. Her fascinating characters are solidly grounded in vivid natural or urban environments. Whether it is 16th century Flanders or 20th century Denver, you never lose the thread of the story, thanks to the author’s mastery of craft and her powerful imagination. The characters will lodge in your mind long after you’ve read the book . . .” Gloria DeVidas Kircheimer, author: Goodbye Evil Eye, and Amalie in Orbit.
“Sandra Shwayder Sánchez explores in intimate detail the experiences and emotions of her characters as she takes the reader on a vividly imagined journey from the old world to the new, through history to modern times. In poetic prose that summons all of our senses, Sánchez creates and maintains unique voices that speak through the generations and the blending of cultures and faiths.” Linda LeBlanc, author Beyond the Summit.
The Secret of a Long Journey is a lyrical, textured, beautifully told tale of lives lived and lost and secrets kept and shared. This mesmerizing page-turner takes readers on a journey from 16th century Flanders and North America’s “New Spain” to 20th century America. Steeped in history and rooted in an insightful novelist’s understanding of the complex, fragile, and sometimes nefarious emotions that embody the human psyche, Sánchez weaves the story of one family’s unwavering, intergenerational commitment to cherish and transmit its cultural and spiritual heritage. Set against the backdrop of Inquisitional Europe and the early history of the Spanish rule of the American southwest, The Secret of a Long Journey chronicles the lives of painters and healers, explorers and adventurers, lawyers and cowboys . . . Along the way, it sheds light on the intricate ways Sephardic Jews, Spanish, Native American, Mexican and Anglo cultures often collided, sometimes comingled, and ultimately coexisted, finding a way to transmute ancient traditions into contemporary secular justice and compassion. Mary Saracino, author of The Singing of Swans (Pearlsong Press 2006), Voices of the Soft-bellied Warrior (Spinsters Ink Books 2001), Finding Grace (Spinsters Ink 1999) and No Matter What (Spinsters Ink 1993). Sandra Shwayder Sánchez is a native of Denver, Colorado and a retired attorney who now resides in the small mountain town of Nederland with her husband of nearly twenty years, John Edward Sánchez.
Shattered Dreams: The story of a historic ICE raid in the words of the detainees. Gibbs, Virginia; and Luz María Hernández, Editors.ISBN: 978-1491086377 $25.95
This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses. In May of 2008, the small town of Postville, Iowa, experienced an Immigration Raid in which nearly 400 Latino immigrant workers in the meat processing industry were arrested. The Postville Raid, the second largest in U.S. history, was the first and last of its kind. Instead of immediately deporting the undocumented, they were tried in groups of ten on charges of identity theft and then sent to jail for 5 ½ months. A group of 40 women were arrested but released with GPS monitors on their ankles so that they could care for young children, and were held in Postville for over a year during which they were not allowed to work to support their families. These are the life stories, told in their own words, of some of the workers who were affected by the raid. The immigrant families, with special emphasis on women and children, share the stories of their childhoods, the decision and the journey to “El Norte,” working at the meat processing plant, and the raid and its aftermath. These true stories vividly portray the fear, violence and harassment that is the lot of those who are “undocumented,” but also shows their strength of spirit in the face of poverty-stricken childhoods, dangerous border crossings, inhumane working conditions, and as they experienced the U.S. legal and penal system. "The long-silenced voices of the humble migrants victimized by the infamous federal raid at Postville, Iowa are recovered at last in this volume, where they coalesce into a gentle mallet that strikes at the gong of our national conscience, issuing a wake-up call to our humanity. Our only dignified answer should be fair and lasting immigration reform." --Erik Camayd-Freixas, author of U.S. Immigration Reform and its Global Impact: Lessons from the Postville Raid.
Soul Twins: A Latino Journey From The Edge To Self-redemption. Oscar Vega Romero. ISBN: 978-0-915745-93-7. $22.95.
Vega Romero contends “My view as a Mexican is that my people are hard workers who possess a strong desire to succeed in life. I was only one of the many Mexicans willing to face the prospect of death and of leaving a mother bereft, by crossing the United States border illegally, in the attempt to make their dreams reality. I left my country without knowledge of the many dangers involved, but with the help of God, I arrived in the United States of America, without authorization of the U.S. government. I asked myself what I wanted for my future and I realized I desired many things. However, their realization within the context of my current lifestyle seemed impossible for I had no concept of the meaning of life. I was living life like a blind man without the ability to see or to enjoy each moment of my existence. I made mistakes that caused me to be locked up behind bars. I've had to spend part of my life in the chaos of an institution, far away from my home country and my loved ones. I thought I was a failure. I didn't know who I could become. I finally realized that no matter what situation I was in I was still blessed in so many ways. One of the greatest blessings was the ability to make choices. This understanding helped me to open my eyes little by little. The quality of my existence began to change, not only for me but for others around me. I discovered the joy of sharing my new-found positive thinking with the intent of making others smile. This book is designed to help men and women improve their lives through positive ideas and the true experiences from which they came. The heartfelt honesty and passion that I have put into this book convinces me that it has the power to touch any heart, no matter the race or color of skin. Mexicans and Latin Americans will continue to be my inspiration to write and paint.
Tina Modotti's Mexico: A Tale of Love & Revolution. Bonnie Hayman. ISBN: 0-915745-40-2. $29.95. Hardbound.
Hayman situates Tina Modotti (1896-1942) profoundly within her social period from her 1913 emigration to San Francisco to a full-fledged member of the intellectual wing of the Mexican Communist Party. She is one of the most important contemporary women of Mexico. She became the lover of Cuban revolutionary Julio Antonio Mella and when he was murdered, Modotti became the main suspect. When a failed assassination attempt was made against the Mexican president, Pascual Ortiz Rubio, she was accused and deported.
She returned to Mexico many years later and lived alone in a small cottage until her mysterious death in a taxi at age 46. Octavio Paz claimed that Tina Modotti belonged “more to the history of passions than to the history of ideologies,” Hayman propounds that Modotti lived a full life of her own choice, and that politics, ideology, and history were never paramount to her own personal life—an indescribable story of fame, style, gossip and turmoil.
The Tortilla Maker:
A Social and Historic Mexican American
Narrative. Jesús Ignacio Loreto de Arvizu. ISBN:13: 978-1500739874. $24.95
Ignacia Arvizu, a strong-willed Mexican teenager lost her father, a wealthy cattleman. Bandidos murdered him and stole the family fortune including all personal possessions; he left behind only an empty hacienda. Ignacia’s mother became destitute and had no choice but to find homes for her bright and attractive daughters. In 1913, Ignacia reluctantly entered--forced by her desperate mother--into an arranged marriage to an older, prosperous rancher in Sonora, Mexico. Ignacia, affectionately called Nana by her grandchildren, fought her abusive husband to protect her five children, among them Ramona, the author’s mother. Nana’s husband suddenly died of pneumonia leaving her once again destitute and now with five small children of her own. Nana--determined to find a better life--walked over a hundred miles with her children in tow for weeks, to reach the nearest city. This brave and exciting memoir recounts Nana’s, her daughter Ramona’s, and (Ramona’s son) the author Jesus’s amazing journey from third-world poverty to American prosperity.
The Unfortunate Passion of Hermann Broch. José María Pérez Gay. Dr. Eduardo Jiménez, Translator. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-3-0. $22.95.
Having earned its author, José María Pérez Gay, the Austrian Cross of Honor for Arts and Sciences (first class), this acclaimed, concise biography focuses on novelist Hermann Broch's preoccupation with his Austrian-Jewish heritage and examines his obsession with human morality, social and moral decadence and mass psychology, specifically, in relation to the tragic historical events of the first half of the twentieth century. In contrast to Franz Kafka's worldwide fame, the effect that Broch (and his colleague Robert Musil) had on the literary world outside Central Europe has remained, until quite recently, rather unappreciated.
At the root of his profound literary achievement is his analytical clairvoyance concerning the crisis of values that would culminate in the ignominious catastrophes of the Second World War.
Valley Rising: A South-Texan’s Journey from the Migratory Fields to Successful Eye Surgeon. Gilberto Aguirre, M.D. ISBN 13: 978-1888205503 $25.95.
Valley Rising is a powerful reflection—of a sincere man dedicated to the betterment of his Mexican American people—on the very deep, personal, structural and historical root causes of segregation and its dehumanizing effects. A personal and intimate story of the life of Gilberto Aguirre growing from infant to successful physician. From living in the barrio to a respectful neighborhood, you meet his family, friends, teachers, coaches and fellow workers that make up his multiply divided world of many social, economic and racial tensions. You experience the agonies and the joys, the frustrations and dreams, the painful insults and encouraging moments, and most of all the hard work fueled by the deep commitment to overcome the inferiority complex by achieving success without losing his Mexican American soul.
Waves of Recovery: The Life of an Advocate of Latino Civil Rights. Maurice Jourdane. ISBN: 978-0-915745-95-1. $22.95.
This a riveting personal account of Maurice Jourdane--currently a Superior Court Judge and a member of the Jerry Brown's California Attorney General's Office--leading to his legal representation and advocacy for farm workers and César Chávez's organizing efforts. Mo's life reads like a Greek mythic tale in which the hero suffers and endures moral and physical endurance in his quest, his now legendary legal fights and successes against the powerful California growers and agricultural interests. This biography is a testament to human strength in behalf of justice for Latinos. The success of César Chávez's civil rights movement and union organizing efforts cannot be fully understood without knowledge of the life and sacrifices of Maurice Jourdane, El Cortito. His legal successes, at great personal costs, solidified Chávez's leadership and prepared the way for the consolidation of the Farm Workers' Union, and ultimately for the farm workers to prevail against the powerful political and economic interests of the California growers. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña, Editor.