LA MUJER LATINA
Alvarado, Lisa. Raw Silk Suture. ISBN 978-1-888205-06-0. $11.95.
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.
Alvarado, Victoria. Mujeres de Conciencia/ Women of Conscience. Spanish English parallel text and photography. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-7-8. $75.00 Oversize Hardbound. Out of print.
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.
André, María Claudia. Latina Icons: Iconos Femeninos Latinos e hispanoamericanos.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.
Benforado, Sally . Bring Me More Stories: Tales of the Sephardim. ISBN 0915745674. $22.95.
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. Following their exodus from Spain in 1492, Sephardic Jews were not allowed to remain on Spanish territories in North America, such as New Mexico and Colorado.
Bernal, Martha E. and Phylis C. Martinelli. Mexican American Identity. ISBN: 0915745259. $22.95.
Mexican American Identity is the most outstanding collection of original research and analytical discussion so far published that focuses on Mexican American ethnic identity, an important dimension of ethnicity. This title is critical for educators and policy makers who set policy or make decisions affecting the Latino/Hispanic community for it provides an empirical and cognitive basis for understanding the idiosyncratic characteristics of this group as a unique culture and vis-à-vis the larger social context. Qui ego sum? 'Who am I? and Qui tu es? Who are you? are basic human inquiries. This book discusses and sheds light on the underlying dynamics determining and shaping identity and self-image of the Mexican American as an individual and a social group.
Blea, Irene I. Suzanna. Yasmeen Namazie, editor. ISBN 978-1481021524. $15.95.
At the time when young girls quickly grew up to become old women, young Suzanna was raised by her grandparents. They received a letter from Don Felipe Montoya asking for the child’s hand in marriage. Don Felipe, who was old enough to be her father agrees to the abuelito’s condition that he delays the wedding until she becomes a woman, or until her thirteenth birthday, which ever comes first. When the time came, the wedding took place in the northern New Mexico village church on a weekday with only the abuelitos in attendance. Thus, Suzanna became isolated on Don Felipe’s deteriorating prairie-ranch with her home-made rag doll, Cleotilda as her only friend. In two years Suzanna gives birth to two sons. The remoteness of the ranch is made worse by drought, failing live stock, Don Felipe’s silence, sternness, and sexual appetite. Economic hardship forces Felipe to seek work elsewhere. During his two-year absence, Suzanna successfully tends the farm, bonds with the two boys and wishes her husband never returns. He arrives to announce they are moving. Suzanna does not want to move, ensuing a conflict permeated by gender and cultural clashes, inequality, violence and asymmetry. Suzanna toughens her emotional self, and uses her wits to resolve an untenable situation.
Dr. Irene I. Blea, the former Chairperson of the Department of Mexican American Studies at California State University-Los Angeles, is a native New Mexican born on top and the backside of a mountain. She has written of over thirty articles and seven text-books with an emphasis on Chicanos, Latinos and women. Her latest book is The Feminization of Racism: Promoting Peace in America. Her work has been referenced by researchers and used as required university classroom reading. She is an award winning scholar, a poet and a public speaker on racism and gender relations.
“Suzanna was born in northeastern New Mexico before the territory became a state. The last child of a large Hispanic family she was raised by her grandparents because her parents feared they could not afford to rear her. She was much loved in her young life, and much used and abused. As she matured, she faced prospects she could not bear. Irene Blea, a native of Northern New Mexico, and a Ph. D. in Sociology, has the writing talent to tell Suzanna’s story in a most engaging way, and she leaves the reader wanting more. Suzanne is a truly outstanding first novel.” —Don Bullis, Award-winning author-Historian
“Southwest literature has a powerful voice in Irene I. Blea. Her characters and story capture the soul of New Mexico. Blea’s riveting story goes to the heart of Hispanic family life in territorial New Mexico, where children are passed on to richer relatives, marriages are arranged at puberty, and the spirit world mixes with daily life.” —Rob Spiegel is the author of five non-fiction books and former President of the Southwest Writers.
“A well written coming of age story of a young Spanish girl tossed into marital domesticity by her grandparents. It is filled with vividly captivating details that just entices you to read on.” —Sandra C. López, Author of Esperanza: A Latina Story.
Camacho-Segura, Julián. Huevos y la Mujer Latina: The De-masculinization of the Macho. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-4-7 $19.95.
Huevos is a politically incorrect articulation of the plight of Latino men in this era of so called gender equity and diversity. The author contends that while White women have made progress, Latinos, particularly Mexican men, have been entirely ignored; they have become the epitome of the poor working class. Ambitious and upward mobile Latinas often look down upon Latinos, and particularly Mexican males' lackluster economic success, preferring other males. Latino males have been left out of any gender or racial discussion, yet suffer the negative highs and negative low of social conditions: Latino men have the highest work related injuries and death rates, high incarceration rates, the highest poverty even though they have the highest labor participation rates and high school dropout rates. On the lows, Latino men have the shortest life span, lowest college attendance and low high-school graduation rates and lowest income derived from full-time work. The Latino male have become the Sisyphus's of America condemned to low wages by globalization, to ignorance by mediocre, highly-politicized-unionized low-performing teachers and schools, and destined to be marginalized of any equity-political-solution. The progress of White women has maintained White power by driving the diversity dialog, praxis, and remedy away from Latino males--the working, and uneducated poor. As Latino men have been relegated to a caste style social gender structure--the hard working indigent--Latinas have been blinded into believing that feminism and Chicanisma are positive, weakening Latino traditional social fabric and support system, while simultaneously ignoring the societal divide distressing Latinos, and especially Mexican males. Blacks counted with and had the strong support of their women to fight for equality in the 1960s. Latino men, instead have no partners in this struggle. Latinas want their "freedom" away from the men, home and culture.
"Huevos! Ya era hora! In an era of such political correctness, the timing couldn't be better. Once again Julián Camacho tackles the issues that are relevant in this truly academic discipline of Latino Studies." John J. Morales Jr. Chair and Professor of Chicano Studies, L.A. Mission College
"Julián Camacho's work is thought provoking and it is bound to create deep conversations and debate. Thank you for addressing the real challenges Mexican man face everyday in US society." Marcos Ramos, College of Letters and Science. University of California, Berkeley
"An exciting and enthralling design to educate the body and stimulate the mind. Destined to be one of the most discussed books in 2007!" Oscar Barajas, Author of soon to be realized book "Tales From The Wireless Clothesline."
Castillo, Adelaida R. Del, Editor. Between Borders: Essays On Mexicana/Chicana History. ISBN 0915745186. 560 pgs. Includes biblio $38.95.
The most comprehensive and complete original history of U.S. Latinas of Mexican descent written by an outstanding team of Mexican and U.S. scholars and based on copious documentary sources from both countries. Between Borders has been hailed by the scholarly review media as "the most important piece of original research on Mexicana/ Chicana ever published." This collection of essays is a smashing success in terms of organization, presentation, significance of content, and theoretical approach. The essays reflect the maturation of the field in the 1980's.
Castillo, Rafael. Aurora. ISBN 978-1888205-30-5. $19.95.
These eleven tightly-packed short stories, often allegorical yet visceral, range from the phantasmagorical "Aurora", whose misdeed has condemned her to a cyclical river of Eternal Return, to the agnostic Tomas and faithful Pedro in the theological "Penitent of Guadalupe Street", where truth is an enigma wrapped in a metaphor. In another story, a bellicose dwarf is murdered and the story is told from shifting points of view. In "Dwarfs and Penitents," an angry jilted husband searches the cobblestone streets of Prague in search of vengeance, while in "The Sands of Dhahran," a middle-age soldier battles his demons during Operation Desert Storm. In these luminous stories, Castillo give us penitents, dwarfs, lost youth, WWII vets, pachucos, doppelgangers, and memorable others populating the American literary landscape.
Chaves, Emma. Tales from Alturas: The Puerto Rican Mystique. ISBN: 978-1888205558. $22.95.
The feisty mountain people of Alturas, in the Cordillera Central of Puerto Rico, scratch and claw to survive in their beloved but devastated patch of God-given earth. During the early 20th century one calamity after another has caused hunger and misery to hover over this beautiful Island and its amazingly resilient people. The colorful characters depicted in these compelling and unforgettable tales seek happiness by spreading rumors, creating tales, accessing the spirit world, even seeing the sudden apparition of a loved one. Somehow, they must pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and continue to trudge forward with dreams and hope. “Without dreams,” Lola tells her daughter, “it’s impossible to live.” The author has created a unique world in which universal themes, such as romance, love and loss, love for one’s family and for one’s homeland are pursued, as well as themes more specific to some groups than to others, such as machismo and discrimination.
Tales from Alturas is Emma Chaves first novel. She immerses us in her narrative populated by multidimensional and realistic characters, often complicated and unpredictable, but more importantly, drawn from her ample and keen and ardent knowledge of the Island and her people; individuals more often than not, found in the typical Latino world. This is an outstanding novel about a colorful family chronicle of the struggles to endure in a difficult world caught between the past and uncertain emerging future. LatinoBooks.Net
Chew, Selfa. Toshiya Kamei, translator. Yasmeen Namazie, editor. Silent Herons. ISBN 978-1888205442. $24.95.
On December 7, 1941, a Japanese suicide squadron attacked Pearl Harbor, marking the beginning of the Pacific War against Japan in all fronts. After this event, the U.S. and its military engaged in an unforgiving and furious campaign against Japan, which reached Mexico and hundreds of Mexican citizens. This offensive took place gradually and systematically in the Mexican Republic. Japanese immigrants—and their (Mexican) descendants in Mexico—suffered, as in the United States, the consequences of World War II in various ignominious ways: some families were sent to concentration camps in Mexico City and Guadalajara, while others were destroyed by the selective detention of hundreds of men in the Perote Prison, the forced sale of their property, and deportation. This book gives a partial account of the history and reprehensible treatment of the Japanese-Mexican community during World War II in Mexico. The task of narrating this story is so complex that it is necessary to incorporate interviews, legal documents, police reports, memoirs, poems, and short stories. All names have been changed, and while some situations are fictional, others are told in the first person by those affected to give the reader a human dimension.
The documents that served as the basis for this book can be found at the General Archives of the Nation of Mexico and the National Archives of the United States. However, oral histories are the cornerstone of this text. This story is also the work of Fidelia Takaki de Noriega, Eva Watanabe Matsuo, Rodolfo Nakamura Ortiz, the Tanaka Otsuko family, Raúl Hiromoto Yoshino, María Fujigaki Lechuga, and Susana Kobashi Sánchez, as well as the officials of various government departments who wrote the reports, memos, and certificates that appear in this volume.
“A moving story inserted with primary documents that challenge the official discourse through a chorus of voices that interweave in the life and death of the Japanese-Mexican community, especially its women. Images, poetry, and words disseminate a unique story.” –Lourdes Vázquez, author of Not Myself Without You
"In Silent Herons, Selfa Chew offers us a beautiful, polyphonic testimony, and strikes a balance, thanks to her art, among her own invention, documents, and oral histories. Based on true events, but it doesn't allow itself to be overwhelmed by them, nor does it seek to be a mere reconstruction of the past. The materials have been placed in their places: they are seamlessly intertwined." –Daniel Orizaga, author of Minuta: ensayos sobre literatura
"Selfa Chew searches holiday resorts that were jails for the remains of reality. Silent Herons is a complex work for its literary originality expressed in artistic form and language, and for the weight of events of more than fifty years ago that have rarely been examined." –Minerva Laveaga, executive director of BorderSenses
"Selfa Chew discovers and disseminates the history of the Japanese-Mexican community that has been erased from national historiography in order to fill the empty spaces of our history and reveal the partiality of hegemonic discourses and artifices." –Guadalupe Pérez-Anzaldo, University of Missouri.
Concepción, Leslie. A Most Memorable Quinceañera. Una Quinceañera Muy Memorable. 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
Datsko de Sánchez, Tina. The Delirium of Simon Bolivar. El delirio de Simón Bolívar. 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 Press. 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.
Dean, Jenny. Latina Filmmakers and Writers: The Notion of Chicanisma through Films and Novellas. 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.
Del Fuego, Laura . Maravilla. ISBN: 0915745151. $22.95.
La Mujer Latina Series. "I named you Consuelo," my mother said, "because you didn't stop screaming for hours when you were born. I figured you needed hope." To Consuelo Concepción, "Cece" Contreres, however, hope seems to be just about all she's got. So when her boyfriend is cheating on her, her friends are doing drugs, and her parents don't understand her, is it any wonder that the only person she can talk to is St. Teresa de Avila? From the housing projects of East Los Angeles, Maravilla, to the lively scene of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district in the 1960s, Laura del Fuego's novel tells the absorbing and personal tale of a young Chicana, like many in real life, making her way in turbulent times. It is a thoughtful and sometimes violent story about coming of age in the heart of the barrio, discovering one's self in the midst of chaos and trying to make sense of a troubled life.
Del Oro. Donna. Operation Familia. ISBN: 978-0-915745-96-8. $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? “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.
How does a modern, educated Latina, disconnected from her traditional Mexican-American family, discover her true identity and "orgullo" (cultural pride)? 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?
Dovalpage, Teresa. Habanera: A Portrait of a Cuban Family. ISBN 978-1-888205-37-4. $24.95.
Habanera is a wonderfully lively and entertaining journey, alternately humorous and wistful. By the end, you will feel as if you have traveled to one of the most exotic islands on earth, during its most surrealistic historical moment. Dovalpage is a master of quirky, loveable characters, and emotionally resonant narrative. Habanera bursts with the energetic curiosity and hopefulness of youth. Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree.
La Habanera is an irresistible, even wickedly addictive ride into dysfunction within dysfunction. Rick in wit and irony provided by Longina, a savvy young narrator coming of age in an eccentric family living in post-revolutionary Cuba, this novel delivers what Dovalpage does best: laugh-out-loud humor and deeply felt, deeply moving drama-all of it sharply spiced with bad and bawdy sandunga! Lorraine López, author of The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters, winner of the Miguel Mármol Prize for Fiction and a finalist for the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award.
Dovalpage, Teresa. Por culpa de Candela. ISBN: 978-1-888205-15-2. $24.95.
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. El humor y la fluidez, la ironía y el desenfado, pero sobre todo la inteligencia, son algunas de las armas que esgrime Teresa Dovalpage en sus cruzadas por la narrativa. La escritora se ha convertido en un Balzac de la sociedad cubana dentro y fuera de la Isla. Ella sin dudas será consultada a la hora de escribir la verdadera historia de la Cuba de hoy. Ena Columbié, Editora de Ediciones EntreRíos, Los Ángeles California.
NADIE RECREA EL HABLA HABANERA DE FORMA TAN SABROSA COMO GUILLERMO CABRERA INFANTE. NADIE. SOLO TERESA DOVALPAGE. Dr. Roberto Ampuero, PhD Department of Spanish and Portuguese The University of Iowa.
Durán, Gloria. The House in the Clouds. Edited by José Hernández and Yasmeen Namazie. ISBN 978-1888205435. $24.95.
THE HOUSE IN THE CLOUDS (Mixtlicalli in Nahuatl) is a cocktail of adventure, romance, mystery, humor, ghost story and family saga . . . The heroine and narrator is Simone Sandoval, thirty-two, witty, brave and a successful Florida businesswoman , but unlucky in love. Her problem, she thinks, is the shape of her nose.
Simone travels to Mexico to have it repaired at a famous sanitarium and carries with her, as a model, the portrait of her beautiful great-grandmother, Simone Dupont, rumored to have been a sorceress. But her official reason for the trip is to locate the old family hacienda, Mixtlicalli, partially destroyed during the Mexican Revolution. At the sanitarium Simone meets an ancient daughter of her ancestor and learns that Simone Dupont was not abducted by General Zapata as the family has maintained, but went off with him willingly. The manager of the sanitarium, Federico, with whom she falls in love, turns out to be the woman’s other great grandchild.
Another discovery is that Mixtlicalli, now reconstructed, serves as a New Age retreat specializing in rejuvenation. It is run by her own great-grandfather, Luis Sandoval, now 109 years old and kept young by his Indian lover, a witch doctor. Luis, who attempts to rape his great-granddaughter, insists that she is his dead wife to escape from the memory that he has murdered her. But Simone Dupont survives as the ghost of Mixtlicalli.
“There is so much here to love. Gloria is a talented writer. . . I adore her droll sensibility as well as her skilled combination of fairy tale, chick-lit and magical realism ( did I leave anything out”?) Sulay Hernández, Touchstone publishers (Simon and Schuster).
“I was genuinely engaged with (her) clear writing style, (her) rambunctious heroine and the intriguing historical mystery.” Sherwin Nuland, surgeon, author of How we Die, The Wisdom of the Body, The Art of Aging, Lost in America, etc.
Gloria Durán’s three earlier novels have received wide acclaim. Malinche, Slave Princess of Cortez, won first prize in 1996 from the National League of American Pen Women. Maria de Estrada, Gypsy Conquistadora, published in both English and Spanish won another first prize given by the Latino Book Summit in 2000 -- which honored her with a Latino Literary Hall of Fame award. Her “Catalina, mi padre,” published by Planeta in Mexico has received enthusiastsic reviews and will be republished shortly in English by Floricanto Press. She has won numerous prizes for short stories and has published two books of literary criticism and over twenty articles in literary journals. Durán has also received many other awards and honors. In l987 she was made an honorary Puerto Rican in order to deliver a paper at the plenary session of the International Pen Congress in San Juan. Her work has been published in Spain, Holland, and Great Britain as well as in Mexico and the U.S.
Espín, Oliva. Latina Healers: Lives of Power and Tradition. ISBN: 0-915745-49-6. $22.95.
La Mujer Latina Series "Latina Healers casts new light on the centrality of gender and migration status on the lives of Latina women. Encompassing the idiosyncrasies of individual decisions and the social context of the healers' lives, this book presents an original analysis of the relationship between gender, power, religious beliefs and social status of curanderas. It brings the scholarship on life narratives together with understandings of the impact of migration and traditional beliefs on the lives of these women. Heralding women not as passive victims of social forces, but as active and creative agents of their lives, the book's findings are valuable for mental health practitioners, feminist scholars, and all interested in the lives of Latinas." Lillian Comas-Díaz, Ph.D. Editor-in-Chief Cultural Diversity and Mental Health
Estrada, Michel. Latina Instinct. Translated by Robert Nasatir. ISBN: 978-0-915745-71-5. $24.95.
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.
Fontes, Patrick. María's Purgatorio. Edited by Leyla Namazie. ISBN-13: 978-1523315154. $23.95
Sex. Drugs. Violence. Speaking in tongues. Set in the sweltering summer months in Fresno, California, María seeks purpose, identity and some semblance of family among the gritty underground niches of society. Not content with who she is, or where she came from, María delves into various groups yearning for fulfillment in a dystopian landscape, one very real for anyone acquainted with the underbelly of cities like Fresno. Not satisfied with drugs and sex, María undergoes a spiritual conversion after meeting evangelists from a Pentecostal church. At last she is at home, with The Family, her new spiritual family, which offers more than her biological familia—so María thinks. In the end, her newfound life is not what it seems, and María at last finds happiness and contentment in a place she previously scorned. Throughout the book María is tormented between memories of her Abuela and her journey to find peace.
“A Danteesque novel set in modern day Fresno, that is smart as fuck without being pretentious. The Fresno of Patrick Fontes’s María’s Purgatorio is not for the faint of heart: On the surface, the city is a multi-layered purgatory and inferno of lost souls who writhe in heat and despair with their eyes sewn shut, unable to acknowledge or have empathy for their suffering, or the suffering of others. Some find solace in cruelty, others in drugs, or in the opiate of religion, or completely retreating from the world. María must climb out of Fresno’s hell-worlds in order to discover self-reliance and community within her family and heritage. A smart and pungent first novel, the reader sweats and cringes with the narrative of Fresno’s abyss; however, finds within it things and people who are beautiful and worth remembering.” Nicole Henares, poet, educator.
Gibbs, Virginia; and Luz María Hernández, Editors. Shattered Dreams: The story of a historic ICE raid in the words of the detainees. 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.
Golden, Gloria. Remnants of Crypto-Jews among Hispanic Americans. Edited by Roberto Cabello-Argandoña and Yasmeen Namazie. ISBN: 978-1482786941. $24.95.
Gloria Golden, an articulate and brilliant photo-anthropologist by vocation, set to uncover the Sephardic roots in the Southwest, which was always suspected to exist, as result of the expulsion of the Sephardic Jews from Spain in 1492. Many Jews went to Portugal and Turkey, others decided to join the expeditions to the New World, particularly New Spain, as Mexico was then called. Sociologists had anecdotal evidence of the Sephardim among the Mexican American population in Colorado and New Mexico.
The remoteness of their hilly geography made a perfect setting for the Sephardic Jews to hide and be left alone from the shadows of the Inquisition. Living in disguise meant to behave like Christians in public and practice their Jewish customs at home, away from prying eyes. As centuries went by, that furtive life became merely partial memories and home behavioral practices that were very different from those of their Christian neighbors. Today many of the Sephardim live among the Hispanic, Mexican American and Latino, populations in the Southwest. 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.
Gonzales-Berry, Erlinda. Translated with commentary by Kay (Kayla) S. García, Translated with commentary by Erlinda Gonzales-Berry. Paletitas de Guayaba On A Train Called Absence. ISBN 978-1481013888. $23.95.
Paletitas de Guayaba’s story is narrated in the first person by Marina, who is traveling by train from New Mexico to Mexico City in search of her identity, her history, and answers to many questions that are tormenting her. As the train carries her through the Mexican landscape, she has flashbacks of her life in New Mexico, a failed romance, and a previous journey. The narration also flashes forward to her arrival, and to her discoveries and adventures in Mexico, where she confronts both her historical and mythical past as well as her complex, multicultural present. The themes of hybrid identity, the Chicano movement, Mexican history, U.S.-Mexican relations, and female sexuality are explored, in a highly experimental and self-reflecting narratorial style that is lyrical, profound, and sometimes profane. Paletitas...delivers the powerful lesson of how multiple identities and subject positions can be constructed from the other side of various international, inter-ethnic, and sexual borders. By combining this lesson with humor and a wonderfully executed language, [it] instructs . . . and . . . entertains, and in this way seals its connection to the best . . . Chicano oral tradition. Angie Chabram-Dernersesian, Dictionary of Literary Biography, 2009 Gonzales-Berry...se rebela contra las limitaciones tradicionales del bildungsroman femenino . . . caracterizado de buena medida por su utilidad para “domesticar” a las mujeres lectoras. Marina, por el contrario, aprende a deshacerse de esos mecanismos culturales reductores y a establecerse a sí misma como persona madura y compleja. Manuel M. Martin-Rodríguez. Latin American Literary Review (Jan-June 1995) Paletitas de Guayaba ... is a trip to the heart of being a Chicana and toward a transnational identity and what that means in terms of nation, race, gender and sexuality.—Diana Rebolledo Erlinda Gonzales-Berry’s ancestors settled in the Río Grande Valley in 1598. She grew up in el campo in Northeastern New Mexico, attended high school in El Rito, and received her Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico. Gonzales-Berry currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon where she retired from the Ethnic Studies Department at Oregon State University in 2007. Kay (Kayla) S. García, the co-translator of Paletitas de Guayaba/On a Train Called Absence, is Professor of Spanish at Oregon State University, and author of Broken Bars: New Perspectives from Mexican Women Writers (University of New Mexico Press), and the translator of a novel by the Mexican author Jacobo Sefamí, The Book of Mourners.
Hayman, Bonnie.The Cult of Jaguar. ISBN 0915745585. $25.95.
Centuries ago, in the darkest jungles of Mexico, a young Mayan 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, with a backdrop of Mayan calendar, pyramids, Maya prophecies(calendario Maya, pirámides y profecías), 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. Hayman's The Cult of the Jaguar, deals with this fascinating mystery and offers an intriguing and plausible answer to the question, "What really happened to the Aztecs and the Mayans, and the Cult of the Jaguar?"
Hayman, Bonnie. Tina Modotti's Mexico: A Tale of Love & Revolution. 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.
Lima, Rossy Evelin, and Gerald Padilla. Illustrated by Gaby Rico.Animals of My Land. Animales de mi tierra. ISBN 978-1530316113. $12.95. $ 12.95. 8.5" x 8.5" (21.59 x 21.59 cm) Full Color Bleed on White paper. Latino Juvenile Nonfiction Book/ Animals
This is a publication of Floricanto.
Animals of My Land is the first children's trilingual book published in Nahuatl, Spanish and English in the United States and is designed to nourish the important bond between language, nature and culture. This book has been created with the intention of reconnecting with the ancient Aztec civilization and their language, while also cultivating both English and Spanish. With this book, children will be able to interact with Quetzali’s friends in three languages and learn to treasure animals as our friends.
This illustrated Spanish, English and Nahuatl trilingual book presents the most common and unique fauna of Mexico in most colorful illustrations set within magnificent background landscapes. This book is suitable for beginning readers and to be read to and it is very highly recommended. LatinoBooks.Net
Loisel, Dr. Clary. Clásicos de la Literatura Hispanoamericana Colonial en su Contexto Sociohistórico. ISBN: 978-0-915745-97-5. $24.95.
A clear and concise review of the most important Latin American Colonial writers whose work departed from Peninsular literary canons. 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 losautores 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. Dr. Clary Loisel
Loisel, Clary. Out of the Closet onto the Stage: An Anthology of Contemporary Mexican Gay and Lesbian Theater. ISBN 978-1481288019. $26.95.
This anthology brings together seven contemporary Mexican plays with homosexual themes. The dramatists are interested in the gay and lesbian being exactly as the term says—“being”—someone who is profoundly human. This means a human being who knows how to love and to suffer, who has hopes, who wants to have a family, who needs a job, who hates, who is passionate, who gets scared, who has ideals, and who even lives or dies for them.
These plays are easily staged and are now available to independent, university-oriented, and semi-professional theater groups in the English-speaking world as well as to all other groups or organizations who may not have much financial support but who do have worlds of talent. With this anthology, Dr. Loisel presents a compilation of works that is as thematically rich as it is varied. The result is a collection that challenges monolithic definitions of being, writing, and ‘acting gay’ in contemporary Mexico. Kathy Fox, Associate Professor, Spanish, St. Ambrose University.
López, Sandra C. Esperanza: A Latina story. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-8-5. $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?
Loreto de Arvizu, Jesús Ignacio.The Tortilla Maker:
A Social and Historic Mexican American
Narrative. ISBN:13: 978-1497473553. $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.
McKenna, Teresa and Flora Ida Ortiz. The Educational Experience of Hispanic American Women: The Broken Web. ISBN 0942177002. $19.95.
La Mujer Latina Series. A most revealing anthology of essays and exposé on the failure of publicly funded institutions to provide and encourage the educational attainment and achievement of Hispanic American women. It also reveals that private parochial schools do by contrast a much better job in educating Hispanic women. It provides evidence that Hispanic women outperform in terms of academic achievement and aspirations Hispanic males, Anglo males and Anglo females and Blacks in parochial schools. Hispanic women are most definitely an academic success story that needs to be communicated to the public at large. Because of this success, the focus of the discussion of the education of Hispanics needs to be switched from the students to the performance of public schools. Parochial schools operate with fewer resources but a greater commitment to minority students. Hispanic American women respond to that commitment with academic excellence.
Méndez, Jasminne. Island of Dreams. 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.
Mercado, Doris. The Armor of Love and Hope. 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.
La Mujer Latina Series
This is an award-winning anthology of short stories by the author of the novel The Deaths of Don Bernardo (Floricanto Press, 1989). Mario Bencastro, from The Washington Review says that "Bárbara Mujica narrates with singular mastery and luxury of detail, creating characters that are both remarkable and familiar... [She] has succeeded in transcending the narrative itself in order to convey emotions and exalt human values."
Far from My Mother's Home is Bárbara Mujicas collection of stories written during the decade prior to the publication of The Deaths of Don Bernado. Therefore, they offer the reader a glimpse of the development of certain aesthetic and conceptual elements that bore fruit in the novel. For example, in these stories we see a growing concern for the ways that different ethnic groups interact. Like the novel, many of these stories are constructed upon a multicultural perspectivism in which persons from different ethnic and social groupsHispanics, Americans; whites, Indians; landowners, peasantsreact to a single circumstance in diverse ways because of their particular cultural outlooks. Furthermore, in both her novel and her stories, Bárbara Mujica uses humor to emphasize the absurdity of the dilemmas that result from our intransigence in ethnic (and other) matters.
“‘Gotlib, Bombero,’ a stunningly successful story by Barbara Mujica, recounts the efforts of Emesto Gotlib, a Chilean-born Jew, to be accepted by his Latin American peers . . . It is a tribute to Mujica’s talent as a storyteller and a writer that the reader fully shares in Gotlib’s anguish.”
Abigail Davis, “The Bloomsbury Review”
“Bárbara Mujica narrates with a singular mastery and luxury of detail, creating characters that are both remarkable and familiar... [She] has succeeded in transcending the narrative itself in order to convey profound emotions and to exalt human values.”
Mario Bencastro, “The Washington Review”
“Bárbara Mujica has a natural narrative talent. She narrates from the gut, from the inside, with a curious eye and great dramatic power, stories of worlds that collide and disconnect.”
Jorge Edwards, Author of “Persona Non Grata”
Muñoz, María del Pilar. Dreams. Sueños. ISBN 978-1-888205-24-4. $22.95.
Interpretation of dreams has been practiced by mankind for thousands of years. The hermeneutics of dreams varies from culture to culture. Latino culture has always been fascinated with the mystery of dreams and has its own approach to their significance. We can learn a lot from our dreams about ourselves, our past, present and future, our fears and hopes, our community, our health, mental state, feelings and much more. Dreams is a book that will help you understand your dreams, look at the interpretations and meanings of dream symbols, learn special methods of self-dream psychoanalysis, reveal the subtle inferences and meaning of common dreams, such as falling teeth, flying, falling, chase, and more. You will also find here interpretation of special dream themes like scenes, sounds, feelings and colors, numbers, animals, food, houses, ocean, forest and etc . . . look for items and symbols that are prevalent in your dreams.
Nieto, Maria. Pig Behind The Bear. Edited by Ms. Yasmeen Namazie and Jose Hernández; Illustrated by Celeste McCarty. ISBN 978-1480093676. $19.95.
It is 1971, one year after the killing of famed LA Times reporter, Rubén Salazar. A junior reporter, Alejandra Marisol, who works for the LA Times is asked to write a commemorative piece on Salazar in recognition of the one-year anniversary of his death. While doing work for the piece, Alejandra finds that she is embroiled in a murder mystery that appears to have ties to Ruben Salazar's death. Alejandra uncovers a world of evil and corruption with the help of an unlikely collection of people who become heroes and who challenge us to think differently about ourselves and the world we live in; Rocky the philosophizing WWI veteran, Sumire, the clairvoyant ex-Japanese internment camp prisoner, Tia (Aunt) Carmen, the wise-cracker who can wield a powerful left leg jab with a retractable prosthesis, Tony and Chucho, the neighborhood homeboys, and Gato the wonder cat. Alejandra also gets help from a dancing Jesus who feels misunderstood, and from his mom, Mary, who bestows Alejandra with a tube of lipstick that helps Alejandra unleash her inner strength.
The reader will travel through streets and townships where rich Angelino culture comes to life, and where tragedy and despair are transformed into hope. Maria Nieto's "Pig Behind the Bear" is definitely a double treat: a fast-paced mystery story and a coming of age novel. At the center of both stories is Alejandra Marisol, a young L.A. Times journalist, who is as smart and courageous as she is charming and sensitive. While researching a story about the late L.A. Times reporter Rubén Salazar in 1971, she stumbles across a number of ritualistic murders and other crimes against the most vulnerable among us: the children and the immigrants. Her outrage fuels her determination to bring to justice the criminals. Maria Nieto has penned a most intriguing crime story, featuring a young heroine but also plenty of engaging characters of all ages? and yes, with plenty of romances for all ages, too! ? Pig Behind the Bear? is sure to capture the attention of both younger and older readers, who will keep turning the pages as fast as they can till the thrilling and satisfying end! Bravo, Maria! Encore: otra, otra! Lucha Corpi, author of Eulogy for a Brown Angel: a Gloria Damasco Mystery.
Maria Nieto grew up in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles and moved from the area in 1984 to attend a Ph.D graduate program in Immunology at UC Berkeley. Maria currently resides in Oakland and is a Professor of Biology at California State University, East Bay where she has been engaged in underrepresented-minority student recruitment, teaching, and research for over 23 years. As a researcher and educator, Maria's writings have taken the form of scientific journal publications, and more recently popular press articles. Pig Behind The Bear represents Maria's first work of fiction.
Nieto, Maria. The Water of Life Remains in the Dead. Leyla Namazie, Editor. ISBN 9781888205596. $19.95.
This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses.
Maria Nieto’s newest novel treats the reader to a fast paced drama told with grit and undercoated with humor. The story, set in 1971, is centered on the canny, spirited and charming Los Angeles Times reporter, Alejandra Marisol. Alejandra displays relentless tenacity as she delves into the bowels of corrupt city politics, shady real-estate transactions, and an overbearing Archdiocese to fish out the truth surrounding unspeakable crimes using the art of deduction and forensic science. While the story clearly demonstrates that the present is inextricably tied to the past, it does not let us forget that ordinary people have the ability to override the power of history to shape destiny.
Ollé, Carmen. Noches de Adrenalina\Nights of Adrenaline. Translated by Anne Archer. La Mujer Latina. English/Spanish bilingual parallel text. ISBN: 0-915745-46-1. $14.95.
"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.
Almond Tequila. By Annie Mary Perez. Edited by Leyla Namazie. ISBN: 978-1544188041 $19.95
Fiction / Hispanic & Latino, Chicano literature, Latino literature, Hispanic literature, Latinos--Social life and customs Fiction, Barrio life Fiction
Best Latino Focused Book
Puerto San Carlos is Jake’s idea of paradise. A place where he could fish all day, play his guitar, and drink tequila all day long. He has been visiting this dusty little fishing village with its colorful inhabitants and curious superstitions and customs for the past eight summers. When Socorro Reyes vows to put a brujería on her former friend for cheating her, Jake persuades her to let karma handle it. When Ricardo Avila fails to carry out his dead mother’s wishes, the man receives an unexpected visitor. When Xochitl Madrigal asks Jake to captain El Barco de Libros, little does he know that they will be sailing into the eye of a storm. Between all this and trying to save the endangered sea turtles, it turns out to be an eventful summer, leading Jake to make a life changing decision.
Captivating and descriptive, Almond Tequila evokes the richness of Baja California where stunning scenery, aquatic wildlife, tasty cuisine, and warm melodies soothe the soul. The reader is immersed in folkloric culture, gentle surf, island breezes, and the amazing flavor of chocolate clams.—José Chavez, Author, Estrellitas y Nopales~ Little Stars and Cactus
Pérez, Annie Mary. Clay Hills and Mud Pies. 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.
Pérez, Irene. Encounter Between Cuentos and Versos. ISBN: 978-1494379919 $14.95
This is a publication of Floricanto Press. "Encounter between cuentos and versos" is a gem to treasure as stories told in poetic forms for readers of all ages—from young adults to the more experienced and seasoned booklover. These poems show us a childhood lived in Puerto Rico, and they uncover a heart awakening to meet the complexity of a new life in the U.S. mainland. The many contrasts found here serve as portals into a private self facing fear and courage—“If you dare startle what’s inside the wall…”—and into the public self looking outwards with compassion—“But one day/Beyond the noise of all histories . . .” The Spanish dispersed throughout this collection adds a necessary pulse to the poet’s love and care for the beat and rhythm of language. But at its core, this work stands strong with meaning, encountering beauty, through lyricism, in the past and in the attention to the now.
In these sensual, intensely given, sometimes fantastical poems and prose pieces, we are given scenes of conception, birth and childhood, of a family uprooted from Puerto Rico to Brooklyn, landing in Jersey City and beyond. In Perez’s world, everything is made to count, the body passage into white dresses, “life fires and hurricanes”, “long hallways marked by doors”, the astrological influence of the planets in our whirling heavens. Her’s is an original, colorful and complex voice, and her poems do honor to our memories. —Colette Inez, author of The Luba Poems.
Cultures collide in this riveting work, but Irene Perez navigates us to safety with her glittering verse. While the world she paints is agridulce, she never forgets to sweeten all that is sour. Get ready to be transported. —Stephanie Elizondo Griest, author of Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines.
In and out, up and down, here and there, then and now, body and spirit, hard and soft, black, white, and colors in between, wind and silence, water and sand, asleep and awake...take turns, join and separate in these poems and prose work to create a tapestry of feelings shared through lyricism and passion for language. —Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Count of Me: Tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships /Cuenta Conmigo: Historias Conmovedoras de Hermandad y Amistades Incondicionales.
Irene Pérez Irene’s short stories and poems have appeared in Kalyani Magazine, South Florida Arts Journal, Northern Liberties Light, New Mirage Journal, Acentos Review, Ardent, Mangrove, Gulfstreaming Magazine, Long Shot, The Américas Review, The Bilingual Review. She has written non-fiction pieces for Somos Padres: A Newsletter for Parents and Educators, LatinGirl Magazine and Críticas. She is currently working on her first novel.
Rosas Lopátegui, Patricia. Feminine Transgression=Transgresión Femenina. ISBN 978-1-888205-27-5. $27.95.
This is a seminal literary critical study of the most prominent Mexican women writers, including Antonieta Rivas Mercado, Nellie Campobello, Guadalupe Dueñas, Josefina Vicens, Elena Garro, Guadalupe Amor, Rosario Castellanos, María Luisa Mendoza, Amparo Dávila, Inés Arredondo, Luisa Josefina Hernández, Elena Poniatowska, Beatriz Espejo, Helena Paz Garro and Silvia Molina; they are symbols of literary achievement, irreverence, and struggle in Mexico, transcending borders with their works and literary influence. Desde Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz las mujeres creadoras en México han sorteado toda clase de malabarismos para poder producir su obra. En esta antología se estudian quince escritoras mexicanas nacidas entre 1900-1946; autoras que, a contracorriente, han enfrentado y desafiado al statu quo creando una literatura femenina de primer orden. Antonieta Rivas Mercado, Nellie Campobello, Guadalupe Dueñas, Josefina Vicens, Elena Garro, Guadalupe Amor, Rosario Castellanos, María Luisa Mendoza, Amparo Dávila, Inés Arredondo, Luisa Josefina Hernández, Elena Poniatowska, Beatriz Espejo, Helena Paz Garro y Silvia Molina son iconos de la creatividad, irreverencia y lucha en México, trascendiendo fronteras gracias a sus aportaciones literarias.
Sánchez, R.F. Latina Mistress. 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 Mexican 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.
Sánchez, Sandra Shwayder. The Secret of a Long Journey. 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.
Serra , Betty. A Century of Pachangas. 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.
Valle-Sentíes, Raquel. The Ones Santa Anna Sold. ISBN: 978-1497473300 $15.95
“This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses. These poems are powerful, immediate, and raw. And they speak of universal pain and disappointment. But also they are about a world that is unique and not so well-known this city of Laredo. As a writer, I am admiring of your perception and your style. You are a wonderful poet. ---Lori Carlson Hijuelos New York editor of Cool Salsa, Red Hot Salsa and Voices in Third Person. Raquel Sentíes has a direct and honest poetic voice. Her poetry is lyrical without being romantic: it is sensual, ironic, questioning. It speaks to us bi-lingually: in language and in culture. She speaks of growing up and living in a world that is treacherous yet somehow in the end satisfying. There are many moments of truth in these poems which are not always easy to read but yet are always revealing. They are filled with violence, sadness, betrayal, unfulfilled longings, dreams, and of course death. The ghosts who haunt Senties’ house and her mind remind us that we too have something to contribute to these hauntings. ---Prof. Tey Diana Rebolledo, Modern Languages, Univ. of New Mexico and well known literary critic; author of Infinite Divisions and Women Singing in the Snow.