The Secret of a Long Journey, A novel by Sandra Shwayder Sanchez ISBN: 978-1-888205-35-0 $22.95
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 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.
Mourning for Papá: A Story of a Syrian-Jewish Family in Mexico. By Jacobo Sefamí.
ISBN: 978-1-888205-31-2 $26.98
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
Heaven is Hard to Swallow=Paraísos duros de roer. By Rafael Pérez Gay.
Translated in to English by Dr. Eduardo Jiménez Mayo. ISBN: 978-1-888205-29-9 $26.95
A forlorn psychoanalyst; a cultural historian exploring the possibility of life after death; a middle-aged couple that schedules a rendezvous with a younger version of itself; a man who compensates for his phobia of death and dying with intense sadomasochistic practices; a writer who futilely explores the sexual habits and customs of Mexico City: These five short stories comprise the body of Heaven is Hard to Swallow (Paraísos duros de roer), the latest masterpiece of the phenomenal Mexican publisher, journalist and fiction writer, Rafael Pérez Gay.
Brotherhood of the Light: A novel of the Penitentes and Crypto-Jews of New Mexico.
By Ray Michael Baca. 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.
Alvarado's call for "a quiet remaking of cells" is nothing short of revolutionary. Read this book, look at yourself and the world around you and know: anything is possible. Demetria Martínez author, Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana In some respects, this is stark work. "These are nightmare words," says one of Lisa Alvarado's speakers, and it seems so: "Soon the fists will come, soon the belt"-spurring one to yearn for alternative connections: "I want so much to braid myself to him." Or compel us toward acute observation where "each day, / I watched / your small suicides." And yet we sense, finally, that "world is word / word is my body"-that is: language, sculpted, can console "from a place that is tender, deeply so," as in the moving portrait, "La Perdida," that closes this collection. Simply put, Raw Silk Suture is "a scar / that has / become a flower." Francisco Aragón Editor, The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry Founding Editor, Latino Poetry Review (LPR)
Lisa Alvarado is a poet, performer, and installation artist, focusing on identity, spirit, and the body. She is the recipient of grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs, The NEA, and the Ragdale Foundation. Lisa is also developing an ambitious trilogy of performance pieces, whose themes are the culture of violence, popular culture and personal redemption.
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 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
BRING ME MORE STORIES:
TALES OF THE SEPHARDIM
By Sally Benforado ISBN
Remnants of Crypto-Jews Among Hispanic Americans. By Gloria Golden, Edited by Andrea Alessandra Cabello, University of California, Berkeley, and Sohaib Raihan. Floricanto Press. ISBN: 0-915745-56-9
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.
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