This important journal reviews in English the most significant English and Spanish language books recently published in Latin America, Spain, Mexico and the United States, which are of interest to U.S. Hispanics as well as the larger population. LECTOR is indexed by the Book Review Index. It reviews:
Literary monographsof prose (novels and short stories) and poetry of the most prominent and promising Hispanic writers of all Latin America, Spain and the United States; Popular Fiction, such as mysteries, historical and contemporary novels, science fiction and adventure; Best Sellers and Classics, Latin American, Spanish, Hispanic American and the world’s best in translation. Social science and humanities books, except textbooks, such as sociology, history, women’s studies, ethnic studies, politics, language and linguistics, philosophy, and culture.
JuvenileYoung Adult Fiction and Nonfiction. Reference, such as dictionaries, bibliographies, biographies, encyclopedias. General Interest Books, such as cook-books, how-to, citizenship; and art.
Matadores: Latino Bullfighters en el Ruedo de Toros. By Dale Pierce. ISBN: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.
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.
Por culpa de Candela. By Teresa Dovalpage. ISBN: 978-1-888205-15-2 $23.95
This is a collection of Cuban American short-stories. The island absent or present. That one, which some want desperately to escape from; the island that many dream to return to. Cuba is the common denominator to these fourteen shot stories of love and of love betrayed.
Esta colección de relatos tiene un hilo conductor y un común denominador que es Cuba. La isla ausente o presente; la isla de la que algunos quieren escapar; la isla a la que otros sueñan con regresar. En los catorce cuentos de Teresa Dovalpage hay desengaños amorosos —tarros pegados en vernáculo. Hay amistades traicionadas, abuelas desvirgadoras de mozos no muy tímidos y viejecitas al parecer ingenuas que se quitan, muertas de risas, sus máscaras de ovejas al final. Y no puede olvidarse una vena mexicana que se filtra en los textos, nutriendo con tequila y corridos a la corriente isleña. El fantasma legendario y rechoncho de José Lezama Lima asoma el tabaco en un cuento mientras que en otro, una chica golpeada aprende a defenderse a cucharazos limpios. Pero en todos campea por sus respetos el caimán caribeño de la obsesión.
MARIPOSAS: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry. By Emanuel Xavier, Editor., Editor. ISBN: 978-0979645-79-2 176 p. $19.95
“Whether straight, bisexual, closeted or openly gay, Latino voices have made a deep mark in the poetry scene. Despite distinction in style, dialect, and customs within the Latino mosaic, our voices have been unified by a determination to be heard. Much like poetry in general, whether academic or self-taught, the need to express ourselves cannot be restricted within borders. Whatever language transferred between pen and paper, it is imperative to share our experiences with the world at large.”
Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino is a ground-breaking poetry collection edited by Emanuel Xavier. The collection features the work of 17 poets from across the United States and Buenos Aires including: Francisco Aragon, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, Brandon Lacy Campos, Dino Foxx, Andres “Chulisi” Rodriguez, Urayoan Noel, Yosimar Reyes, Robert Ortiz, Walter Viegas, Joe Jimenez, Will Sierra, Rane Arroyo, Pol Ajenjo, Daniel Torres, Carlos T. Mock, M.D., Xuan Carlos Espinoza-Cuellar and Emanuel Xavier. Featured poems are published in English and Spanglish with several translated into or from Spanish.
Brotherhood of the Light: A novel of the Penitentes and Crypto-Jews of New Mexico.
By Ray Michael Baca. 0-915745-66-6 $22.95 Special low price for advanced orders
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.
Las Niñas: A Collection of Childhood Memories. By Sarah Rafael García ISBN: 978-1-888205-09-1 $19.95
Las Niñas is a collection of autobiographical childhood memories of three Mexican-American sisters. It recounts their struggles while being raised as the first generation born in America of their Mexican family. Las Niñas portrays common situations that immigrant families can relate to through their own process of cultural assimilation. Each chapter is a different childhood memory celebrating culture, life and change through humor and self-reflection. Its creative style and unique display of a child's perception will entice many genres of readers and provide insight on the possible challenges that many recent immigrants face with their family's new generation in America. The childhood memories lightly touch on issues of immigration, learning English as a second language and assimilating into the American culture. Las Niñas reveals the most humorous, intimate and traumatic events that occurred as Sarita, Chuchen and Nini grew up in their family's new country, ultimately providing the foundation for surviving their father's death at such a young age. The bond among the three sisters allows the reader to feel their family's pride and growth in a dual culture. Nevertheless, the reader's own entertainment and personal relevance will be the greatest contributor to Las Niñas' popularity and triumph. Las Niñas represent an honest and heart-felt account of first generation Latinas, American-born girls, who grew up in a Mexican cultural cocoon, to open it and converge in to their outgoing personalities into middleclass ethnic America. The authoress provides a most candid and enlightening perspective of growing up in America in the Latino barrio. Andrea Alessandra, Northwestern University.
Comprende?: The Significance of Spanish in English-Only Times. By Steven W Bender, ISBN: 978-1-888205-08-4 268 pgs. $26.95
Today, the contentious issue of Latino immigration has spurred backlash efforts to anoint English as the official language in federal and state government to the exclusion of Spanish and other languages, than English. Even cities have weighed in to restrict the legitimacy of Spanish in local government affairs. Last century, European immigrant groups stood accused of failing to assimilate in the American melting pot. But while European immigration has slowed, Latino immigration has surged. This steady immigration, combined with the geographical proximity that brought Latinos into the Southwest long before Anglo immigrants, assures a different cultural dynamic for Latinos than for other groups. The centuries of continued Latino occupation and then immigration have forged a unique, shared destiny between the United States and Mexico, as well as other Latin American countries. U.S. history has hosted more than a casual sharing of Mexican recipes in the kitchen; rather, a passionate and lively mating of cultures-Latino and "American." Foremost among these cultural exchanges is the influence of the Spanish language in the United States. With a foothold of several centuries, and the recent propulsion of mass media and pop culture, Spanish has significantly entered the American mainstream through the open and receptive borders of the English language. Taking a lighter view of the current anti-immigrant frenzy, this book offers considerable and colorful examples of the historical and current cross-pollination of the English and Spanish languages in settings ranging from geography to culture and cuisine. Ultimately, it urges recognition of our increasingly shared languages-not by rejecting Spanish and legislating an official status for English, but by embracing our shared culture as a uniquely American blend of culture and language. In contrast to the anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican, and anti-Spanish forces trying to tear us apart, acknowledging the contributions of Spanish language to our past, present, and future will help to unite Americans and the Americas. Valuing the Spanish language and tapping the resource of our Spanish-speaking youth can be a catalyst of the surprising unity that recognition and respect for difference can bring. The alchemy of Spanish is that it holds the potential for propelling the U.S. into a new realm of multicultural connection and influence with its neighbors that is sorely needed in this time of increased isolation and nativism. ¿Comprende?
Dictatorship: The Imposition of U.S. Culture on Latin America Through Translation. By Peter A. Neissa. ISBN:978-1-888205-10-7 304 Pgs. $26.95
This book focuses on how a dictator or a culturally dominant power can use language to impose cultural values. As an instrument of power, language is used by a dictator to educate, induce, or manipulate a nation's citizens into acting in accordance with the ruling power's cultural values and beliefs. Jorge Zalamea's El Gran Burundún-Burundá ha muerto, Gabriel García Márquez's El otoño del patriarca, and Mario Vargas Llosa's La fiesta del Chivo draw attention to how the use of the vernacular can resist cultural imposition by employing specific words in order to represent its own culture and nature of reality. The original significance of these words is then altered in the translated text creating a new meaning determined by the dictator's or translator's ideology and usage. The new words that have substituted the original ones reveal how the construction of language defines relationships of power and resistance between a dictator and his nation, or between one culture and another, such as the relations of the United States over Latin America. The analysis of this relationship will provide an understanding of how language functions as an instrument for the imposition of power to gain or maintain cultural or political supremacy. Peter A. Neissa was born in Bogota, Colombia, and received a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Boston College and a Masters from Harvard University. At Boston College, he earned the Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award. He also taught Spanish Language and Latin American Literature at Harvard University where he earned the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning for eight consecutive semesters. Dr. Neissa has published articles and book reviews as well as two historical novels: The Druglord and Under False Colors, which trace the history of Colombian drug trafficking. Dr. Neissa is currently the Chair of the Spanish Department at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Cervantes observed that reading a text in translation is like looking at the back of a tapestry. Neissa wrestles with some of the issues implied in this statement in his scrutiny of the distortions, imperfections, and misrepresentations to which the transference of texts from Spanish to English inevitably lead in the case of three novels of dictatorship by Zalamea, Garcia Marquez, and Vargas Llosa. This is due not only to the paradox and power of the written word within specific cultural contexts, but also to the difficulties, dangers, and at times even abuses, that come from "passing off" a text from one language to another. The end result is that accuracy, authenticity, and truth are often sacrificed for the sake of ideological priorities, political correctness, and hegemonic control. Ironically, these are the same consequences of dictatorial tactics exercised at the expense of individuality and freedom that are portrayed in the very texts selected for this compelling comparative study that will appeal to scholars and lay readers alike. Harry L. Rosser, Latin American Literature & Area Studies, Associate Professor, Latin American Literature, Director, Latin American Studies, Boston College.
Dónde más si no en el Paraíso. By Vicente Cabrera Funes ISBN 978-1-888205-11-4 176 pages. $23.95
Vicente Cabrera Funes´s latest work of fiction, Dónde más si no en el Paraíso, consists of two novellas, "Dalia" and "Suana en el Paraíso." A major theme of the two is the clash of cultures, expertly portrayed by the author who himself was born in Latin America and has resided in the United States (el Paraíso) for many years.Cabrera's novellas will challenge his readers to discover the underlying irony and tragedy his characters encounter as they struggle to survive in a racially divided, violent and unjust "paradise." George R. McMurray Professor Emeritus Colorado State University El escenario de las dos novelas de que consta el nuevo libro de Vicente Cabrera Funes, Dónde más si no en el Paraíso, es un Estados Unidos que tiene poco de paradisiaco. La orfandad literal y metafórica y la cuestión de la identidad son temas principales de la primera narración, Dalia, cuyo personaje titular no sabe si identificarse como vietnamita o americana. La protagonista de la segunda narración, Suana en el Paraíso, también asiática, tiene un doctorado en psicología pero sus estudios y sus aportes a "este país de maravillas" no la protegen de la campaña de persecución lanzada contra ella. En este caso el narrador es un amigo de Suana pero no se compromete a ayudarla casándose con ella y así resolver sus problemas con el Departamento de Inmigración. La protesta contra la intolerancia, la discriminación que sufren los "intrusos" extranjeros y las muchas vejaciones de las que son víctimas es más fuerte en esta narración donde resulta que el tan cacareado sueño americano es, para muchos, pesadilla. Kathleen Glenn Wake Forest University. Con Dónde más si no en el paraíso, Vicente Cabrera Funes muestra una vez más su gran capacidad creadora, su habilidad para tejer historias que capturan la compleja naturaleza de las relaciones humanas -paradójicamente enfrentadas a la simplicidad de la vida cotidiana- y su talento para capturar el diálogo y las acciones detalladas de cada personaje. En las dos historias que conforman este libro, se nos presenta la difícil experiencia del cambio cultural y de identidad, un cambio que no sólo se ve reflejado desde la perspectiva de quienes inmigran a un país diferente y se integran a la vida académica, sino también de quienes se encuentran fuera de lugar en un país en el que crecieron y lo creían de alguna manera suyo. Dónde más si no en el paraíso solidifica más, indudablemente, la carrera novelística de este talentoso escritor ecuatoriano. Jacqueline Álvarez-Ogbesor Spellman College.
CINCO DE MAYO: An Illustrated History.
Cabello-Argandoña, Roberto Nuestra Historia Series. 208 pgs. $24.95 ISBN: 978-1-888205-05-6 Includes illus. and biblio.
“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. G.K. Namazie
Roberto Cabello-Argandoña has been writing about the French Intervention in Mexico for many years. His main preoccupation has constantly been to bring to light the main historical lessons from a failed foreign occupation, the ever presence of enemies within and without, and the resiliency of the Mexican people and their boundless yearns for freedom and respect.
Esperanza: A Latina story. By Sandra C. Chávez. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-8-5. 356 pgs. $24.95
Fourteen-year old Esperanza Ignacio could only think of a few words to sum up her life: crap, man, crap! She was born into a poor Latino family living in a small crummy apartment in the barrio side of town, where the graffiti chiseled more the souls and character of the residents than it impacted the exterior looks of the buildings or anything else. Her father was a drunkard, gambler, and wife-beater who, one cold night, got arrested after a violent intrusion. Her entire circle of relatives consisted of nothing but formers—former drug-addicts, former gangsters and gang-bangers, former alcoholics, former everything. Yep, her life was nothing but a huge load of crap. And she hadn’t even started high school yet.
After surviving a scorching summer heat, Esperanza enters the unfamiliar world of high-school with a tight knot in her stomach. On the very first day, she is sucked into a blunder of catastrophic events beginning with accidentally running into the world’s BIGGEST bully. And it definitely wasn’t an understatement either. Now, she has made herself the prime target for a main course. And, to top it all off, she has to see this girl everyday in P.E! P.E.—the one class Esperanza truly despises the most. Could life be any worse for her? Well, her family could take in a relative hopped up on drugs, a probable shooting can take place right in front of her, and Esperanza could also sit and listen to the crazed ranting of her loud psychotic mother. Oh, wait, all that does happen.
To make things even easier, her best friend, Carla, won’t stop trying to marry her off to her twin brother, Carlos. And she has these two puny siblings constantly vying for her attention. God, it’s a wonder she doesn’t strap herself in a straight jacket and pretend to be Elvis.
Nonetheless, Esperanza attempts to get through it all. She is a smart and ambitious young kid struggling to survive her life while fighting to make her mark on the world. Her story is filled with pain, strength, and too much loud bickering. It carries a voice enriched with barrio slang and sarcastic humor. Esperanza illustrates what a persistent Latino youth can achieve when they get back up after a fall and keep on walking straight into college.
“Esperanza is an admirable and too real story of many Latino youth lacking role models, who find themselves lost and isolated in the paved jungles of the inner cities and overwhelmed by the dissonance of barrio life. Sandra C. Chávez has created a resilient and likeable character, Esperanza, who seems closer to a naked truth-seeker than to a barrio kid—desperately trying to get out of a crappy world, but not knowing exactly where she was going to. Highly Recommended.” Andrea Alessandra, University of California, Berkeley.
The Unfortunate Passion of Hermann Broch. By José María Pérez Gay. Translated by Dr. Eduardo Jiménez. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-3-0. Pgs. 148 $24.95
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. In his trilogy, The Sleepwalkers, praised by Milan Kundera as "one of the greatest European novels," Broch illustrates the decay of values in German society, combining lyricism, essayism and naturalism in three distinct segments, beginning with the demise of the Prussian aristocracy and shifting to the moral bankruptcy of the bourgeoisie. The nadir is reached in the third volume as a nihilistic Zeitgeist emerges, devoid of any moral or ethical principles. The depth of his political critique and his modernist experimentation with form and content undoubtedly owe much to the influence of James Joyce. In The Death of Virgil, described by Thomas Mann as "one of the most extraordinary and profound experiments ever to have been undertaken with the flexible medium of the novel," Broch depicts the epic Roman poet's transformation of everything tangible into an inner, visionary, dream-like experience, as he faces the last hours of his life. The moribund poet, fatigued by the decadence of Roman civilization, carries on a discussion with Caesar Augustus: wherein the former, disenchanted with the efficacy of literature, calls for his work to be burned while the latter wishes it to be preserved for posterity, for it captures the legacy of the Empire. An analogous quest for the 'holy' within a world of eroding values becomes the subject of another of Broch's outstanding novels, The Guiltless. In the midst of an era characterized by moral decadence, Hermann Broch wrestles with pessimism, though he clings to his belief in the capacity for human transcendence as the ultimate purpose of literary expression. Morally and spiritually speaking, he believes that literature must possess a restorative function. He also suggests that science alone is inadequate when faced with the task of grasping the world's totality. Moreover, he implies that perhaps the novelist is better equipped than the church and clergy to apprehend the metaphysical components of existence-for literature stands as the revelation of a mythic unity of being in the world, while men and women strive to come to terms with their mortality. This book introduces us to the gentle, generous soul of one of Europe's greatest modern novelists, contributing to the recuperation of his legacy for the benefit of all those who embrace the moral dimensions of literature. Susanne Kimball, Ph.D. The University of Texas at San Antonio
Mujeres de Conciencia/ Women of Conscience. Spanish English parallel text and photography by Victoria Alvarado. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-7-8. 2008 $69.95 Oversize Hardbound. Especial Holiday advanced purchase for individual customers $49.95. Save $20.00
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. This title is an important addition to reference collections and individual libraries for they are testament to the vision and values of la mujer Latina.
Operation Familia. By Donna del Oro. ISBN: 978-0-915745-96-8. 520 pages. $24.95
Dina Salazar likes to think she has it together. Dodging the bullet of early marriage and motherhood that every other female in her family has succumbed to, she’s her own woman. Or is she? Is she free ...or just lost?
Adventurous, athletic Dina has a satisfying career and her freedom from emotional entanglements. She has it all. All except the love of her life, Rick Ramos—THE HATED ONE--who ended up marrying another woman nearly six years before. All except the closeness of her blue-collar family, who live in a Latino barrio of Salinas, ninety miles south of Silicon Valley. All except the feeling of belonging to her cultural heritage. She speaks Spanish but who is she really? Is she a mixed mutt with an American mind and a Latino heart? In her attempts at educating herself and climbing the socio-economic ladder into the middle-class, has Dina lost her Latino heart and soul? Then, like an artichoke, Dina begins to peel away the secrets to get at the heart of her family. When Dina learns that her stern, disapproving Mexican-born grandmother has a shameful secret-- a son Grandma Gómez had to abandon in Mexico sixty years before-- Dina is reluctant at first to get involved. The uncle she has never known has died mysteriously-- killed, her grandmother believes, by a rival in the Juarez drug cartel. And Abuelita’s grand-daughter, Teresa--Dina’s Mexican cousin-- is in danger and is on the run. To Dina’s dismay, her grandmother urges HER to find out where her grand-daughter and great grandson are seeking refuge in Mexico. Her grandmother tells her that Dina is the only one that can rescue Teresa and her son, for Dina is the only one who speaks fluent Spanish. What’s a girl to do when la familia calls?
“A delightful, endearing story! You can’t help but root for Dina in her journey of self-discovery.” --Brenda Novak, Nationally Best-selling Author
“Dina is a character that many Latinos can identify with—a woman trying to weave her own place between cultures. Around Dina, Donna Del Oro has done her own weaving: a heady plot …of crime, romance, family conflict and intrigue.”
--Carlos Alcalá, Sacramento Bee Columnist
Shadow of the Fathers. By Robert Friedman. ISBN: 978-0-915745-75-3. 2007. $22.95
Never, in Latino history, a well-seasoned and prominent journalist has embarked in the difficult task of reconstructing the scene, background, and times of a plausible racial crime in which colors, the symbolic trust placed in those in authority and power, were used. It long has been a deadly tale in the island. Why those Latinos die precisely in the place where they supposed to have been treated, cured. What role did the good Anglo doctor play in their deaths? Come and retrace this riveting mystery tale. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña, Editor
In Shadow of the Fathers, Robert Friedman turns a disturbing, possibly tragic historical event in Puerto Rico into a captivating work of fiction. Personal obsessions and public events collide as the novel's characters grapple with lies, false identities, puzzling connections, U.S. wars and colonialism. A rich, suspenseful tale, the novel moves from the colorful life of San Juan to the snow-covered streets of New York, from the pastel heat of Miami to the fog-shrouded canals of Amsterdam. Pablo Camino is the son of a doctor sent to Puerto Rico over four decades earlier to research a cure for pernicious anemia. While there, Dr. Cornelius Rhoads claimed in a letter to his close friend, "Ferdie" that he had purposely killed eight of his Puerto Rican patients and planned to exterminate several more of "that degenerate race." The letter was discovered and Rhoads was forced to leave the island. He later insisted it was all a joke. Pablo, a highly regarded Puerto Rican artist, is haunted by his dead father's past. Did the doctor really kill those patients? Has Pablo inherited from him the feelings of murder that often grip his own heart? When Pablo kills an intruder in his home, he vows to finally discover the truth about the father he never knew -and about himself. He flees Puerto Rico to look for Ferdie. Back on the island, Ralph Camacho, Pablo's best friend, carries out his own search into a past that casts heavy shadows on individual lives in the present.
Diadema. Carlos Aceves. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-6-1 $24.95
Carlos Aceves has created an allegorical story rooted in the deepest essence of the Latino soul. Diadema is a symbolic artifice very much like Doña Marina, La Malinche, searching for her child, her very being. Knitted in a true story, Aceves bring forward the Latino imperative of who really are we? What are our roots? This is the Hispanic crucial element of understanding self. Latinos are not alone. Spain if often called by Spaniards "the whore of Europe" for it was invaded by most every group in Europe creating a concatenation of races and cultures; today there are over five different languages spoken there. Latinos to a certain extent inherited this dilemma, and Aceves attempts to use fiction weaved in real story to address the Latino, Chicano predicament of self-preservation and self-understanding. Aceves propounds a clear lyric message, begin your journey for genuineness and self-understanding and let the road lead you where it may: "Se hace camino al andar." Roberto Cabello-Argandoña, Editor.
Unamuno: A Lyrical Essay. By Pedro Blas González. ISBN: 978-0-915745-75-3 $22.95
The most extraordinary and exemplary piece of Latino prose writing, bordering in Rational lyricism. Scholarship and art in Europe, traditionally crisscrossed each other, particularly when the brightest minds where at it. Germany has Goethe, the Hispanic world has Unamuno. Both were consummated philosophers and creative writers, who left indelible marks, both in culture and philosophical argumentation. Goethe's "Werther" is credited with initiating Romanticism in Europe. "El Sentido Trágico de La Vida" ponders the ever-present human (and Hispanic) preoccupation for life, death and beyond, immortality. However, it takes a Latino scholar to analyze, scaffold, and present in an very understandable way to us the grandiosity of Unamuno's philosophical concerns and his scrupulous argumentation. Dr. Pedro Blas González is the first Latino scholar to elaborate and deconstruct Unamuno's philosophical work and related creative writings. This is a lyric work of prose, as well as of literary criticism, philosophical analysis, and pure rigorous Latino erudition advancing Hispanic thinking. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña, Editor.
Waves of Recovery: The Life of an Advocate of Latino Civil Rights. By Maurice Jourdane. ISBN: 978-0-915745-95-1 $26.95
This a riveting personal account of Maurice Jourdane--currently a Superior Court Judge and a member of 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 in court. 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.
Latina Filmmakers and Writers: The Notion of Chicanisma Through Films and Novellas. Jenny Dean. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-1-6. $26.95
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.
"Dean provides a thoughtful and honest account of ... the concept of Chicanisma. Latina Filmmakers and Writers cleverly situates Chicana literature and film at the perilous yet unique intersection of class, gender and race ...and weaves a Chicana feminist theory and original oral history research " Guisela Latorre, University of California. Santa Barbara.
"This book deals with the voices and works of Latinas [whose voices]... must be heard since they elaborate on the concept of "Chicanisma."This is an important new book in the development of Chicana Studies and Latina thought. Kudos!" Dr. Luzma Umpierre, Human Rights Advocate.
"...This book... is a must read text for contemporary society. ...[it] will be most helpful in Chicana and Chicano Studies, Women and Feminist Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Cultural Studies in understanding the experiences and issues concerning diversity in a postmodern situation." Dr. T. Osa Hidalgo de la Riva
Huevos y la Mujer Latina: The De-masculinization of the Macho. Julián Camacho-Segura. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-4-7 $19.95
Clásicos de la Literatura Hispanoamericana Colonial en su Contexto Sociohistórico. Dr. Clary Loisel. ISBN: 978-0-915745-97-5. $24.95
Esta monografía va dirigida a los lectores que ya tienen un conocimiento básico de la literatura hispanoamericana colonial pero que quieren un análisis más profundo de algunas obras principales del canon. Este libro sobre la literatura colonial constituye un esfuerzo por reunir el testimonio de nueve escritores de los siglos XVI y XVII que han expresado algunas experiencias y vicisitudes principales de varios pueblos de Hispanoamérica para acercarse a su identidad nacional y artística. Seleccioné a estas figuras por sus contribuciones únicas a las letras hispanas. El tema central de este libro es la transformación y la "nativización" de los modelos peninsulares por los escritores del Nuevo Mundo. Es mi esperanza que, volviendo a estudiar a estos autores y obras, podamos comenzar a comprender mejor una pequeña parte de la enorme producción literaria de los dos siglos después de la llegada de Cristóbal Colón en 1492. Divido el libro en dos partes principales: "El Siglo XVI: Literatura de la Conquista" y "El Siglo XVII: El Barroco, Arte Hispánico". Al principio de cada parte hay una introducción sobre el marco histórico-social así como de las corrientes estéticas de cada época. Cada uno de los nueve capítulos se dedica a las biografías y al análisis de la obra de los autores seleccionados: Hernán Cortés, Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga, El Inca Garcilazo de la Vega, Bernardo de Balbuena, Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, Juan del Valle Caviedes, Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora y Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.
"El lector se siente atraído a la lectura de Clásicos de la Literatura Hispanoamericana Colonial por la claridad de su presentación y por la curiosidad de ciertos detalles que me han animado a releer a algunos escritores de la literatura colonial, por ejemplo a Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz". Ramón Corro, Profesor de Español Emeritus; University of Montana.
"Este libro muestra de forma muy clara la transformación de los modelos literarios españoles realizados por diferentes autores en el Nuevo Mundo. Por lo tanto, puede servir como recurso útil para el profesor así como texto de trasfondo para el estudiante de letras renacentistas y barrocas". Robert S. Stone, Profesor Asociado; US Naval Academy.
"Clásicos de la Literatura Hispanoamericana Colonial , por el profesor Clary Loisel, es un aporte importante a los estudios hispanoamericanos coloniales. Es de gran utilidad para un público general y para especialistas". Mark Cox, Profesor Asociado de Español; Presbyterian College.
"Con Clásicos de la Literatura Hispanoamericana Colonial , Clary Loisel ha sabido abarcar las obras claves de la literatura colonial con la precisión y erudición necesarias para el especialista y con la claridad y llaneza para el gran público". Andre Moskowitz, City University of New York Graduate Center
Café Chronicles. Francisco J. Zermeno. ISBN: 978-0-915745-98-2 $17.95
Life is wonderful, and I have learned from it twice, my first 12 years in México, in Spanish, and the many others in California, in English. I know that every one has a unique life, but I could claim that mine has been a bit more unique. Why? I am a 6'4" café Mexican, that's why! In a land of chaparros, there I was in México. In a land of whites, here I was, and am. I was born in the high sierras, then was transplanted to urban Guadalajara. I survived. Then, I went back to the rural sierra, and this now city slicker couldn't rope a cow, especially in my black shoes. Heck, I tried playing soccer in México.too tall. I tried playing soccer in the USA, there was none in the 1960s. So, when I went into basquetball, my feet were faster than my hands on concrete. Shooting? A slingshot at a bird, ok, but a ball at a basquet? I went to the fields. Have you ever tried short hoeing lettuce or picking strawberries from my height? I had my grigo phase. Result? I couldn't even convince mother, who kept telling me, 'gringo culo prieto' - with Mexican motherly tender love, of course. I tried to fit in as a Freshman at UCSanta Bárbara. I was taking Bonehead English with Dr. Fernández. I couldn't. Heck, I've even made a run a city politics. Result? Missed it by 1,500 votes. The reason given me? Latinos don't vote. Yes, I wondered if the political machine is just not ready for a 6'4" Mexicaned café to join the elected elite. As a good Mexican, I have always adapted, fatallisticly, as is my, our, nature. Yes, I have always wondered if a caféless, tallless, USAless life would have been different. Yes. I think so. But this one's mine, and I'll keep it. So, what I have been doing is writing, and reading, kilos of words, from the outside looking in. It's been a two year plus weekly column, with what I've observed, with a café Latino consciousness. Some love it and learn from it. Others hate it and have told me to take my culo prieto back to México. Hey, is life wonderful or what? Hope you agree. Live on!
Chat Room & other Latino Plays. Leo Cabranes-Grant. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-5-4 $22.95"It gives me great pleasure to introduce Floricanto's New Series: Latino GLBT works. In this edition, we have "The Chat Room and Other Latino Plays" which explores the complexities of Latino gay life through characters and events that challenge our expectations in both funny and disturbing ways. Several closeted men meet in a public space to flirt with each other, but end up discussing the joys and pains of fatherhood. A bisexual man surprises his gay partner with an unusual birthday gift: a Puerto Rican. A Latino-Rican decides to pursue a chat room date with a mysterious man that slowly takes over his apartment and even brings a woman in. All three plays are an invitation to revise our values and to experiment with new identities. " Carlos T Mock, MD "...That's one very important reason why this new line from Floricanto Press exists: to provide Latinos/as and other readers, writers, and interviewers with GLBT writers of quality who will provide significant work about the Latino-American gay experience. Writers like Leo Cabranes, whose plays Floricanto is putting out, in effect, leading the way. Leo addresses the issue: what does it mean to be a Latino-American in the U.S? How does the color of your skin, or your accent, or any of a dozen of perceived differences affect not only how you may be treated-demonized, vilified, adored, iconized-but also how you come to perceive yourself? And how does that change who you become? In Mortality, the changing and changeable nature of Latino American GLBT identity becomes a toy played with by the characters and the author to express and illuminate the underlying anxiety that this topic always incites. 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 are touched upon in these works. 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
Papi Chulo . Dr. Carlos T. Mock. ISBN Complete: 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
Dr. Carlos Mock was born in San Juan, PR in 1956. After a career in Medicine, he turned to literature. Papi Chulo is his third novel. He currently edits Floricanto's LGBT Latino series
Diversity: Mestizos, Latinos and the Promise of Possibilities. By Amardo Rodríguez. 978-0-915745-92-0 $18.95. 152 pages
This book is about the hope that resides in brown, the color of creation. It defines brown ideologically rather than racially. That is, brown is about peoples who are increasingly defying the borders of ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, and race that limit imagination and possibility through various anxieties, insecurities, and paranoia that make us afraid of the world's ambiguity, mystery, and complexity and, in so doing, make us afraid of our differences. It is about peoples who are of borderlands-conceptual, communicational, relational, communal, theoretical, and cultural spaces, such as Spanglish and Ozomatli, which are devoted to possibility. Thus in a world where too many believe in a coming clash of civilizations and that Latino immigration poses the most serious threat to the prosperity of the U.S., this book introduces and expounds on various theoretical notions that make for new visions of the world and ultimately new ways of being the world.
Joe García, a Marine Colonel and childhood friend devoted to the President, La Gringa is also told from multiple points of view that push at the edges of literary tradition.
The deciphering of the Da Vinci Code discovered Jade Stewart as the descendent of the Davidic Dynasty. Her existence threatens the legitimacy of Christian orthodoxy, and she is anathema to the Christian fundamentalists. Beautiful, brilliant and single, she is a controversial and charismatic President at a time of great change in America, including a schism between the American Catholic Church and the Vatican, the admission of English speaking Canada into the United States, and the political emergence of the Mexican-American community. Her election to the Presidency in 2008 is carried on the brown backs of Chicanos in Texas and California.
By the age of fifteen Jade Stewart was uncontrollable, and her wealthy, widowed father, David Stewart, takes her from the family estate in New York to his ranch in South Texas. In Laredo Jade Stewart becomes involved with Beto Guerra, a Chicano mix of Elvis and James Dean. At the age of seventeen, Jade Stewart has a child out of wedlock by Beto Guerra who had enlisted in the Marines and not returned from the wars of the Middle East. The day after the child’s birth, David Stewart tells Jade that her baby boy had died. After her election eighteen years later, President Stewart’s enemies, the terrorist Christian Militias, steal the records of her child’s birth and presumed death. Threatening to charge that the President had had an abortion, they attempt to blackmail her. The President sends Joe García to Laredo to recover the evidence that her child had died the day after birth. Embedded with compelling characters from across the spectrum of the American narrative, La Gringa is an imaginative and disturbing vision of what the future may bring. Sprung tightly by metaphor at the beginning, the plot springs to a violent conclusion, as Joe Garcia follows a trail that skirts taboo, tests his loyalty to the Anglo America of Jade Stewart, and careens towards Monarchy.
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. Although the novel starts with the arrival of the two pretty young women in the United States, dramatic events unleashed, which change the lives of these women. Some of these circumstances are simply traumatic, others are downright heart-breaking, and some others are happy events, which they must undergo before setting roots in this country. As in real life, not every immigrant coming to the United States makes it, in this novel; Rosario did, but not her sister, Berta. Some characters in this novel are truly loveable, others quite detestable; all nevertheless are quite human. The reader weeps at times, is angry at times, rejoices at times, but at the close you will find a new meaning for what is meant for a Latina Mistress.
It is 1983. In Rome, Cardinal Siri, the most powerful Cardinal in the Vatican, summons a young Jesuit priest and assigns him a grave and urgent task. The Vatican has been keeping secret an epidemic of deaths among priests in the northeastern United States. Father Javier Barraza must determine how and why they are dying-and whether a suspected international conspiracy against the Holy Roman Church is coming to fruition. Barraza is an Argentinean who has risen swiftly through the ranks to the post of Devil's Advocate-an investigator of candidates for sainthood. In his new assignment, his path immediately intersects with Lillian Davis-Lodge, a special agent with the FBI, and a compelling figure from Barraza's past. The reappearance of Lillian is more than mere coincidence; she is far from the "special agent" she claims to be. She occupies the highest echelons of power in the United States, with full access to information and influence. Secrets and spies inhabit the subterranean world of the Church just as they do the government of the United States, and a disturbing trail of evidence strongly indicates to Barraza that his Church may be complicit in what he has been assigned to investigate. Set in the arcane, yet alluring world of the Vatican, The Mosaic Virus will grip you in its terrifyingly-true-to-life tale of secrets, sex and violence. At the end, you'll pray that it's only fiction. Carlos Mock's maiden voyage proves he is already a master storyteller.
Laura S. Washington Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor, DePaul University Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times A virus, man-made and swiftly lethal, has killed the priests, and a Cardinal in the United States is involved. As Barraza uncovers more about the role of his Church and the true origin of its laws about celibacy and its gay priests, he begins to fundamentally question his allegiance to Rome and to the doctrines of his faith. When he and Lillian find the creators of the virus, they find themselves in a desperate game of wits with faceless, mysterious, all-powerful institutions looking to protect their public image at all costs. Javier and Lillian are expendable, and even Lillian cannot protect them.
NEW302 pgs. $22.95
Rich in language and imagery, Notes from Exile is a skillfully crafted novel. A blend of humor and drama thread this tale, concluding in what can best be described as a haunting modern tragedy. Struggles both large and small remind us of human frailties and how in the final analysis, we go it alone. For its wit and passion, this novel should not be missed! Mexico has long been a land of enchantment and mystery, a place where more than one foreigner has sought refuge, fleeing real or imagined demons. In a quaint village along the shores of Lake Chapala, two recent college graduates join two men living in self-imposed exile. One, a journalist and jaded philosopher is escaping an inherited family destiny; the other, a British combat veteran is fleeing what many viewed an unnecessary war. Notes from Exile is a venerable creation, containing humor, love, and sorrow - each in their own time and measure, all ingredients for a story of escape and hope. Through the novel we learn, often harshly, how each one of us is responsible for defining our destiny. The dilemma is that while some will succeed, others will tragically fail. Excerpt from Notes from Exile - In the vigilant distance, the jacaranda trees and the African tulips remained still and breathless. The long, fragile egrets waded in the muddy shores of the great lake. Lirio acuático, water hyacinth, and tules, water rushes, nursed in the shallow water, their roots a web of thickness and lust. The lake was sick, dying of a disease called neglect. The mountains nestled beside it, powerless to heal, and the long, loping line of the woman cradled it in her lap. She had bravely turned to face the deprivation. Fishers, naked to the waist, cast their wide nets, each harvest more meager. What a disease this thing called neglect.
In Michel Estrada's Latina Instinct, Carmen leaves her modest life in rural Pinar del Río to attend the University of Havana. When she gets there, she confronts the harsh reality of contemporary Cuban life. Latina Instinct is an exceptional document of daily life in today's Havana, faithfully recording the challenging existence of university students struggling to make the grade. Before she can learn from her trials, Carmen must mature amidst the dangerous and complex streets of Havana. Michele Estrada's novel offers the first honest and riveting glance to present-day Cuban urban life.
She attends the University to study computer science but the politics of academic life and the demands of school are quickly upstaged by the excitement and danger of Havana. She rooms with a group of experienced students who teach her how to get along: studious Paula, playful Dunia, naïve Monica, and Lili, the free-spirit. And the men in Carmen’s life are equally important: Arturo, the womanizing fifth-year student, and Sebastián, the debonair Spanish businessman. When Carmen first meets them, she is gullible, but each teaches her a valuable lesson by example, and they are not always good examples. She learns about survival, both at school and in the city, but the most important lessons are those that she can only learn on her own.
Over the course of a year, Carmen encounters good and bad relationships, short-lived and lasting friendships. Her innocence leads her into difficult situations, but her wits, and a little luck, get her out of them. Along the way, Carmen changes from an innocent country girl thrown into the big city to an experienced and savvy young woman equipped to face the challenges of present-day Cuba.
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. These articles, written by well-known Latin Americanists, many of them Latinos themselves, reflect a most revealing landscape of iconization of these women ranging from religious, political, and popular sectors. These figures help us understand the complex discursive process of the creation of popular female images, and the influence that institutions and culturaltraditions play in their creation. 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. Los ensayos aquí incluidos presentan un revelador panorama sobre las múltiples articulaciones entre lo religioso, lo político y lo popular que nos permite vislumbrar no sólo la compleja red discursiva que circula a través de los diversos medios de producción cultural, sino también establecer el nivel de participación e influencia que ejercen de los organismos institucionales en la construcción de símbolos, imágenes y tradiciones culturales. 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.
"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. In Borrowing Time: a Latino Sexual Odyssey we get a glimpse of the different manifestations of AIDS: the fear, the shame, the regrets and the final victory. The "AIDS" crisis has been an opportunity for the homosexual community for growth, for strengthening ties, for reclaiming rights from the government, and, above all, for reflection. The AIDS epidemic can be seen by many as a curse, and for others, as the opportunity to bring out the best in you. My work as a sex therapist over 23 years with couples and individuals-many of whom are gays, lesbians, and bisexuals-has put me in touch with an issue that inevitably comes up: feelings of self-hatred and shame that many homosexuals internalize. The lack of tolerance for sexual diversity and the myopic vision of many fundamentalist religious groups have contributed to the prejudices. Books like Borrowing Time: a Latino Sexual Odyssey can be antidotes for this lack of understanding and acceptance. It can also be a useful tool for any homosexual or lesbian to understand and accept him or herself, without judgments. It takes the reader, gay or straight, into the mind, heart and dreams of Juan Subirá Rexach with great candor, honesty and humor. Dra. Gloria Mock
978-0-915745-78-4. Floricanto Press 2006. $26.95
In April of 1993, Brazilian voters were given a choice between continuing with a president, adopting a prime minister and parliament, or bringing back its long dormant monarchy. Carnival King is the story of what might have happened had they opted for the latter. Outlawing the G-string bikini on Rio de Janeiro’s beaches! Auctioning the country’s name to the highest bidder! A police escort for thousands of shantytown dwellers as they descend upon downtown Rio to call for freedom! These are just a few changes one can expect when a nation bending under the strain of democracy decides to give monarchy another try.
As Brazil prepares to receive its new king ‑ the fourth in its history, but the first in one hundred years ‑ it seems lawmakers have accounted for every eventuality, except for one tiny detail: identifying the legitimate Brazilian heir to the throne, when the Supreme Court suddenly disqualifies the Portuguese descendant.
Needless to say, after one hundred years of Republicanism, Brazilian royalty isn't what it used to be. So it is not surprising that when the young man entrusted with the king's care, Marcos Antonio, meets his charge, he is less than awed. Brazil's home-grown monarch is an unkempt, thirty‑something supermarket employee with a penchant for deep‑fried pork, amateur climatology, and karaoke. His name: Reginaldo Santos ‑ but you can call him "Reggie." It is Marcos' job to shepherd Reggie from the Brazilian countryside to the former, now present, imperial capital of Rio de Janeiro, and shape this rather unhewn figure into a model of regal proportion.
Behind every great man there's another man dressed as a woman, and Reginaldo Santos is no exception. Bored with the monotony of his royal treatment, Reggie hits the town and meets a fellow monarch of sorts: the dazzling Marcela Seville, a drag queen who spends her nights on stage entertaining the endless stream of foreigners that flood Rio’s Copacabana strip. Marcela suggests to the naïve king that there's much more to the city than what he views from his palace window, and challenges him to see another reality behind the neon and sunscreen.
When Reggie isn't busy debating with Marcela the pros and cons of tropical climates, he can be found at Rio's National Library reading up on his royal ancestry. From these readings, brought to life through a series of vignettes that intertwine with Reggie's story, we learn more about his predecessor, Dom Pedro II, another reluctant monarch, who, at the tender age of fifteen, inherited the kingdom of Brazil. These flashbacks to the nineteenth century tell the story of young Pedro's growth as a leader, achieved through his courageous support for abolition, a position he takes against his advisor’s counsel and in direct conflict with his own dynastic interests. For young Pedro the political battle grows quite personal, as he witnesses first-hand the injustices of slavery when his fate becomes unavoidably entwined with that of a slave woman, Clara, and her son, Jacob.
Meanwhile, one hundred years after the abolition of slavery, Reginaldo Santos must come to grips with lingering inequalities in modern Brazil, and help the citizenry take that next step from emancipation to full participation in the democratic process. The societal challenges Reginaldo and Pedro face may differ, but the struggle is ultimately the same: to rekindle their subjects’ desire for freedom, even when it may signal the end of their rule. And to find, along the way, one's true self beneath the robes of a king.
This comedy about Brazilian politics and history rests on the premise that the 1993 plebiscite on what form of government voters preferred—parliamentary, presidential, or monarchical—actually favored the latter. While the premise is imaginary (voters actually favored presidentialism), James has captured the cynical mood of Brazilian politics amazingly well and his characters – a cast that includes reluctant monarchs, corrupt politicians, over-zealous cops, street vendors, and denizens of Rio de Janeiro’s night life – jump off the page as true life figures, recognizable to anyone who has spent time in Brazil. James has a delightful narrative style and his characters speak in crisp, modern dialogue. This is a thoroughly enjoyable story by an up-and-coming first author. Buy it now!
Michael Conniff, Professor of Brazilian history, San José State University. Author of Modern Brazil: elites and masses in historical perspective and Africans in the Americas: a history of the Black Diaspora.
Luis Zapata. The Strongest Passion. Translated from Spanish by Clary Loisel, Ph.D., 2006. ISBN: 0-915745-76-3 $25.95
Latino literature Mexican fiction Gay literature Latino Gays Hispanic literature Latin American Literature
Using only dialogue as its narrative technique, Luis Zapata recounts the story of his protagonist Santiago, a middle-aged businessman hopelessly in love with Arturo, a 19-year-old teenager, who is the son of Sarita, his best friend. Through skillful and entertaining dialogues during their courtship, which continue once the conquest is achieved, the novel reflects the deep generational chasm between the characters. Santiago is the completely dedicated representative of that mythical first generation of gringos born in Mexico--but in a gay version--who cultivates values and pursues goals in life and who believes in the middle-class version of national progress through personal and individual commitment. Arturo, on the other hand, is the typical postmodern teenager: pragmatic, addicted to working out, hedonistic, vain to the point of being narcissistic, cynical to the point of being cruel, and materialistic to the point of accepting money as the only God.
Thus, in The Strongest Passion, Zapata shows us that if indeed there are “women who love too much,” there are also “homosexuals who love too much.”
. Translation from the Spanish and preface by Eduardo Jiménez. ISBN: 978-0-915745-84-5 2006 $29.95
The narratives collected in this volume are mainly set in the State of Tabasco, during the turbulent time period running from the Mexican Revolution to the late 1950’s.
In one sense we’re dealing with a dreamy, genteel, picturesque — though somewhat atavistic — world, in which the paddlewheel steamboat remains the preferred means of long-distance transportation, in which the townswomen wear ruffled organdy or tulle dresses while daintily promenading, parasols in hand, around the town square; where couples, young and old, dance on Sunday afternoons to the elegant melodies of pasodobles, danzones, tangos or boleros; and where the finest merchandise, ranging from the mundane to the exotic, arrives daily to the various commercial ports along the Tabascan coast, having been shipped there from the metropolises of New Orleans and Havana.
Jalapeño Blues. By Trinidad Sánchez, Jr. ISBN 978-0-915745-72-2 124 pgs. 2006 $16.95
"These poems are not only full of heart, humor and joyful song; they are a history of Chicanos and working class struggle. They give life to forgotten souls and pay tribute to those "unrecorded in history." This is poetry that bursts off the page demanding to be read aloud and with a little hip action. So I found myself singing the jalapeño blues as loud as loud could be. Got the jalapeño blues, baby. Yeah! We don't need no stinking badges telling us who we are. But we sure need the poems in this book. Yes, indeed." Lolita Hernández, Detroit, MI Author of Autopsy of an Engine: And Other Stories from the Cadillac Plant.
Latino poetry Chicano poetry Mexican American poetry Hispanic poetry
La Picardía Chicana: Latino Folk Humor. Folklore Latino Jocoso. José R. Reyna, Edited by Andrea Alessandra Cabello, University of California, Berkeley, with the Assistance of Gloria Canales. 0-915745-42-9 $35.00 Bulk sales for class use $25.00
Latino folklore Latino jokes Latino folk humor Folklore Latino Folclor latino Mexican American Folk humor
Mexican American, Chicano folk literature has been of interest to folklorists and been collected incidentally, mostly as part of compilations of the longer and more prestigious standard folktale. José Reyna began his collection of jokes 1969, and some of the jokes compiled then, appeared in Stanley L. Robe’s Antología del Saber Popular . Picardía Chicana, the result of thirty years of work, contains five hundred twenty-six jokes which are reproduced here verbatim from tape recordings collected in the field. Some jokes were collected by the author as field research projects at Texas A & M University-Kingsville [1972-77] and at the University of New Mexico [1977-1984]. Others are synopses of jokes that Dr. Reyna learned over the years and took the liberty of translating to English for presentation here. This book represents the best of Mexican American joke tradition.
Edited by Adelaida R. Del Castillo. 1997 560 pgs. ISBN: 0915745704. Includes biblio. $59.95 Price for class use $39.95 (Bulk purchases)
This is remarkable classic and unsurpassed book of original research and interpretive essays on the history of the Mexicana/Chicana. Collected here are twenty-five essays by an international group of scholars who discuss methods, content and critical theoretical concerns of Chicana historiography to date. Together these writings comprise an unprecedented collection of studies on Mexican women in the United States. Part I of this book examines theoretical approaches useful to Chicana history and argues important distinctions between Chicana and women's history in general. Part II follows with a discussion on method and sources for Chicana historiography and draws on colonial census data such as marriage, baptismal and burial records, as well as archival material, oral history, and literature as historical sources. The working class experiences and labor activism of Mexican women before and during this country's Great Depression begin the discussion in Part III which then turns to the question of undocumented female labor in the United States and clandestine garment work in Mexico City today. An overview of Mexico's working class women's movement, its advances and setbacks over the century, closes this section. Part IV examines the impact of gender ideology, patriarchal structures, and feminist activism on male/female relations and social structure for Mexico and the southwest of the United States. The bibliography cites over 500 interdisciplinary items important to Mexicana/Chicana studies, Mexican immigration, and Hispanic Americans in general. Latino books, Hispanic books, Mexican immigration, Mexican illegal immigration
Adelaida R. Del Castillo has researched the daily survival strategies of female-headed households in squatter settlements in Mexico City. She is co-editor with Magdalena Mora author of Mexican women in the United States: Struggles Past and Present.
Mexican Illegal Aliens: A Mexican American Perspective. By Rafael D. Canul, Ph.D. Edited by John Cise, University of California, Berkeley. ISBN: 0-915745-62-3 $29.95
This book provides the first comprehensive socio-political, economic and historical analysis from a Mexican American perspective of Mexican illegal immigration to the United States during the last 50 years and how this human influx impacts on current Mexican American politics and discourse.
BRING ME MORE STORIES:
TALES OF THE SEPHARDIM
In these short tales, author Benforado weaves together the oral history of a family of Sephardic Jews, from their close knit home in Turkey to their new lives in America. They are stories of a heritage that spans the globe, of centuries-old traditions transported to a different world, and of people who held tightly to the ways of their ancestors, who, like them, left their homes to settle in a strange new land.
The Illegal Alien: A Dagger into the Heart of America?? By Raoul Lowery Contreras, Floricanto Press. ISBN: 0-915745-61-5 Edited by Andrea Alessandra Cabello, University of California, Berkeley, and Sohaib Raihan.
Illegal Alien is the most reasoned analysis to date of the most controversial of illegal immigration and its growing impact on the American economy and way of life. Mr. Contreras makes a historical comparison of immigration and a well-documented scrutiny of the vocal opinions of well-known anti-immigrant spoke-persons as well as those who seek unrestricted openness of our borders.
Hidden deep in the heart of the American Southwest among the larger Hispanic population are descendants of the Sephardim, Jews from Spain and Portugal. Five hundred years after their expulsion from Spain remnants of Judaism are still practiced within Southwestern Hispanic communities. Often unaware of their origins, conversos have revealed, through oral history, how the ancestral faith of the Crypto-Jews has been passed on from generation to generation.
The Salvation of La Purísima. By T.M. Spooner. ISBN: 0-915745-55-0. Hard cover $32.95. $24.95 Paper
New Novel, The Salvation of La Purísima, explores an anthropologist’s struggle with professional objectivity as he is drawn into a crisis in a Mexican village. The chilling and dramatic events will significantly change him. In the aftermath of a death during a border-crossing attempt, a Mexican village desperately searches for understanding and survival. Compellingly told and written – with tender regard for its characters.
T.M. Spooner’s debut novel, The Salvation of La Purísima, reveals the forces driving migrants north and the resulting impact on the communities and families left behind. The journey north is no longer just an economic necessity, but has evolved into a right of passage for so many of Mexico’s rural youth.
The Cult of Jaguar. By Bonnie Hayman. Floricanto Press, Mountain View, Ca. 2004. ISBN: 0915745585 Hardbound $39.95
Centuries ago, in the darkest jungles of Mexico, a young boy named Xichantl witnessed his father and most of his tribe follow the hallowed jaguar into the Graylands, never to be seen again. Now, a divorced mother and her two daughters from the United States go to Mexico for a summer vacation and stumble upon an ancient box that transforms their lives and could change the world. Set in the sultry and mysterious jungles of Mexico, the story revolves around several interesting characters who are after the same thing-each for a different reason. What happened to the ancient native civilizations of Mexico and Central America, which disappeared without a trace? The Mayan and Aztec cultures left important archaeological sites in Middle America before their civilizations vanished from this earth. While various theories attempt to explain these phenomena, nothing definitive has been proven, yet.
Tina Modotti's Mexico: A Tale of Love & Revolution, by Bonnie Hayman. Edited by Andrea Alessandra Cabello, UC Berkeley. ISBN: 0-915745-40-2 $39.95 Hardbound
Hayman situates Modotti (1896-1942) profoundly within her social period from her emigration to San Francisco to a full-fledged member of the intellectual wing of the Mexican Communist Party. She became the lover of Cuban revolutionary Julio Antonio Mella and when he was murdered, Modotti became the main suspect. When the Mexican president was assassinated, 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 Modotti belonged “more to the history of passions than to the history of ideologies.”
Love & Riot: Oscar Zeta Acosta and the great Mexican American Revolt. With Preamble by Diego Vigil with the assistance of Richard E. Vigil, Nome de guerre, Mangas Coloradas. Edited by Andrea Alessandra Cabello. $39.95 Hardbound
By Burton Moore
August 29, 2002 --
LATINA HEALERS: LIVES OF POWER AND TRADITION
Borrowing Time: A Latino Sexual Odyssey. By Carlos T. Mock, M.D. Edited by Andrea Alessandra Cabello, UC Berkeley. ISBN: 0-915745-54-2 $39.95 Hardbound
“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
NOCHES DE ADRENALINA\NIGHTS OF ADRENALINE
"CAUTION: Nights of Adrenaline is a text of intense, incisive, and extreme violence--but also, paradoxically, and at certain moments, of an almost innocent tenderness. The obsessive exploration of the feminine condition, exploration of body and mind and of their unstable and intermingled overlappings, as well as of a woman's conflictive social placement in a world made neither by nor for her, yields a tension that is highly explosive in a poetry that relinquishes nothing: not the banal, not the quotidian, not the obscene. Carmen Ollé is one of the most important Latin American poets of the twentieth century." Antonio Cornejo Polar, University of California at Berkeley and Universidad de San Marcos, Lima
Mexican American s in Urban Society: A Selected Bibliography
296 pgs. (pbk) ISBN: 0915745127 Indexes. Compiled by Alberto Camarillo. $25.95
A comprehensive bibliographic study documenting the contemporary and newly acquired urban experiences of Mexican Americans living in major U.S. cities as they migrated from the crop fields of the Southwest to the newly emerging post-war industries. Definitively the most updated and complete bibliographic control effort on writings on regional urban development by Mexican Americans as they settled in their new environments. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.
THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE OF HISPANIC AMERICAN WOMEN: THE BROKEN WEB
MEXICAN AMERICAN IDENTITY.
REGIONS OF LA RAZA: CHANGING INTERPRETATIONS OF MEXICAN AMERICAN
REGIONAL HISTORY AND CULTURE
188 pgs. ISBN: 0915745038 Indexes. David Gutiérrez and Roberto Trujillo, compilers. $23.00
An authoritative guide by a leading bibliographer and collection development specialist to the best and most significant published books on religion, social sciences, language, arts and music, literature, history, biography and many other topics suitable for public, academic and school library Chicano collections. It has full descriptive annotations, indexes and full bibliographic data. A most highly
MEXICAN LOS ANGELES: A NARRATIVE AND PICTORIAL HISTORY.
LITERATURA CHICANA: CREATIVE AND CRITICAL WRITINGS THROUGH 1984.
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