Floricanto Press     

HISTORY

By Title

 


 

 

 

Between Borders: Essays On Mexicana/Chicana History. Adelaida R. Del Castillo, Editor. 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.

 

 

 

Brotherhood of the Light: A novel of the Penitentes and Crypto-Jews of New Mexico. 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.

 John Castillo lives in this century, and is in search of the cross which had become lost two-hundred years before. Spiritually, he is devoid of a true set of beliefs, as he is one who knows of the family’s past through inherited secret oral history. He is conflicted with who he is. Is he Catholic, or is he Jewish? Is he something because he was born into it, or is he something because he believes?  The others in John’s long family history include Ramón Bernal de Castilla, a Sephardic Jew who leaves Spain in the 1590’s as a reluctant Conquistador, joins Juan de Oñate’s troops to settle Nuevo Mexico, and is the first keeper of the cross that originated in the forges of Castile. And, Andrés Castillo, a boy of thirteen in the early 1800’s taken as a slave by Navajo raiders. Having hidden the cross in a desperate attempt to save it, he returns decades later to the hiding place with his son and grandsons as a tribute to the spiritual wealth it has brought to them all.

 Moving seamlessly between the past and present, weaving together the intricacies of religious fundamentalism, unwavering faith, and a true passion for knowing one's past, Ray Michael Baca takes us on a journey into the stark, beautiful desert, and the romantic valley of the Rio Grande, where Spanish dreams and Native souls have clashed and then lived as neighbors for 400 years.  The text of this gripping story is written in English, Spanish and Ladino. LECTOR

 

 Ray Michael Baca was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1959, and grew up in the small town of Bernalillo. He attended Navajo Community College in Tsaile, Arizona, and since 1981 has made his career in the business sector. On leaving New Mexico in 1988, he contended “I have been trying to make my way back home ever since.”

 

 


 

 

Carnival King: The Last Latin Monarch. Brent Alan James, Jr. ISBN: 978-0-915745-78-4. $22.95.

"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.

 

 


 

Forthcoming: Release date August 3rd.

César Chávez y la Unión: una historia victoriosa de los de abajo. By Víctor Fuentes. Leyla Namazie, editor. ISBN 978-1511639934. $24.95.

To be published by Floricanto Press, this ground-breaking book—written in Spanish—by Dr. Víctor Fuentes, Professor Emeritus of the University of California, is the most comprehensive illustrated and well-documented biography of César Chávez. It describes his life and strife as a labor and political leader of farm workers in the California fields of tears. This is a social, political and agricultural labor biography of the unique and well suited leader that helped bring about such landmark improvements of farm workers’ welfare and economic conditions. Inspired by advocates of nonviolence, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, he sought to redress economic deficiencies and injustices in the agricultural fields of California. He was the driving force behind seminal events, such as the creation of the United Farm Workers Union, the organization of nationwide boycotts and marches against the large farming enterprises and growers. Deeply religious and committed to the cause, La Causa, Cesar Chávez lived to see the gains he had so hardly fought for. The book is greatly complemented by rare photographs of his life and the labor struggles he successfully led. Leyla Namazie, LatinoBooks.net

Este importante libro biográfico e ilustrado es publicado por Floricanto Press. Conmemorando el 50 aniversario del gran triunfo de la Huelga de la Uva, iniciada el verano de 1965, este libro compagina el estudio de la historia de la Unión de Campesinos con el de la persona de César Chávez. Se divide en dos partes con ocho capítulos.  La primera parte, tras evocar cómo César, de niño y adolescente, vivió en carne propia la explotación y el sufrimiento de los campesinos, y de tratar de su forja como gran líder comunitario y laboral, se ocupa de la gesta que llevó a la Unión, bajo su dirección, a lograr algo antes nunca conseguido en la historia del país por los trabajadores campesinos. En la segunda parte, se historia de cómo, y con sus altibajos, la Unión llegó a un gran ápice a mediados y finales de los años 70. Con su infatigable dinamismo y entrega, César Chávez, en su última década, se mantuvo vivo, para los otros, hasta la muerte. Y el grito liberador de la Unión y de la Causa campesina, “Sí se puede”, se ha convertido en un grito universal de cuantos luchan contra fuerzas detractoras aparentemente inexpugnables. 

 


 


 

 

 

 

Chalino: A Chronicle Play of Fulgor and Death=Una Crónica Teatral de Fulgor y Muerte. Julián Camacho Segura. ISBN 978-1481022002. $22.95.

With “Chalino,” Julian Camacho writes about a raw, unflinching Mexican icon with an unapologetic honesty only he can provide. He excels at bringing this story to larger than life tale because he possesses one of the most experienced voices among his contemporaries.” Oscar Barajas, Author, “True Tales from the Wireless Clothesline.” Rosalino “Chalino” Sánchez was a Mexican immigrant from the Mexican state of Sinaloa who came to the US in search of opportunity. In his pursuit of perseverance his gift and talent for writing corridos for the common working class man initiated a world wind phenomena that appealed to Mexican-American youth in Los Angeles, California. Chalino’s corridos provided a cultural medium in which Chicanos identified with their own roots.

 


 

 

Cinco De Mayo: A comprehensive Illustrated History. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña. ISBN 978-1483923970. $20.95.

The somber reality of foreign naval invasion of Mexico by three major world powers, Spain, Britain and France constituted the prelude to the Battle of Cinco de Mayo. Spain was the first country to have the troops ready for the invasion of Mexico. General Serrano, Commanding General of Cuba, then still a Spanish possession, prepared three army divisions, who were shipped in 13 frigates and supported by 13 transport ships, all under the command of Marine Commanding General Joaquín Gutiérrez de Ruvalcaba. The Spanish troops occupied the castle of San Juan de Ultia and the Port of Veracruz on December 17, 1861. Great Britain sent a naval infantry detachment of 700 soldiers and occupied the ports of Veracruz and Tampico on January 6, 1862. On January 8, a French infantry regiment arrived comprised of nine companies, including cavalry, artillery, experienced African Zouaves, and African Escorts (Cazadores). This setting was the beginning of the conflict which led to the Battle of Puebla on Cinco de Mayo, 1862. The author provides a most detailed account of the forces and activities of the French and Mexican sides, during the last three days before, the day of and the day after the battle itself. Examines also the inspiring history of a triumphant Chicano general, Ignacio Zaragoza, (1829-1862), born in a period of international conflicts and forced to flee from his home as a youth because of the American settler's revolt in Texas in 1836. It includes nine patriotic poems (Spanish-English parallel text) written in California between 1864 and 1865 commemorating CINCO DE MAYO and published for the first time in monographic form. Unquestionably, this is the definitive history book on The Battle of Puebla on the Cinco de Mayo, 1862. "This is an amazingly interesting work of historical narrative on Cinco de Mayo dating from 1861, California 1864-1865, and its geopolitical ramifications; ably introduced with a compilation of illustrations from the period." Dr. Namazie

 


 

 

Cuba Libre. Mentirita! By Carlos T. Mock. ISBN 978-1-888205-16-9. $25.95.

The Cuba Libre ("Free Cuba") is a cocktail made of Cola, lime, and rum. Both the cocktail and its name remain politically loaded due to the history and current status of Cuba-United States relations. The situation is further complicated by Bacardi's political involvement in Cuba. Cuba Libre is sometimes called "Mentirita" ("little lie") by Cuban exiles opposed to the current Communist government run by Fidel Castro, as a comment that Cuba is currently not free. Cuba Libre "Mentirita" is a history book. It is a different kind of history book in that it focuses on the Afro-Cuban population of the country. It traces its roots and attempts to explore their concept of "freedom". Whereas, for some, Cuba is not free, for others it is--if they define their freedom as not being dominated by the white race. This is a Cuban history book filled with firsthand accounts and anecdotes--and takes the reader through Cuba's history from José Martí to the present regime.

 

 

The Cubans: Our Legacy in the United States: A collective biography. By Hernández, Fernando. ISBN: 978-1888205411 $23.95

This is a publication of Floricanto Press. The Cubans: Our Legacy in the United States chronicles the Cuban immigration to the United States from the 1800s to the present era. The author analyzes the impact the Cuban community has had on the cultural, economic, social, sports, and political scene in American society throughout multiple generations. Cuban immigrants have been one of the most successful communities in the United States. The book examines the contribution to baseball from Martín Dihigo to Tony Pérez and from Ernesto Lecuona to Gloria Estefan in music. In business circles the reader will discover that The Coca Cola Company, the Kellogg Company and McDonalds Corporation had Cuban-born Chief Executive Officers and that Movado watch company was owned by a refugee who fled communist Cuba. The book vividly depicts more than 250 extraordinary and intriguing men and women that make for engrossing and captivating reading.

 

 

 

 

The Cult of Jaguar. Bonnie Hayman. 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?"

 

 


 

 

Day of the Dead/ Día de los Muertos. By Manuel Luis Martínez. ISBN 978-1-888205-19-0. $25.95.

This is the most riveting and complex narrative of the Mexican Revolution. "I am Berto Morales. I am the false son of a nameless and blind man. I am War. I took his land through a pretense. I am Pestilence. When his heir returned to claim his birthright, I killed him. I am Murder. His comrades returned to find me, and failing to do so, took the life of my wife and child. I was Love. I determined to meet injustice with injustice. I am Hatred. I brought war to those who ended my life. I am Executioner. I am guilty of sins that have no name. I have come to the slaughter uninvited and have determined to give my life freely." And so begins the saga of Berto Morales set during the Mexican Revolution, the landscape of Day of the Dead is littered with the victims of a brutal war, one populated by a cast of villains, saints, heroes, and ordinary people whose roles are often impossible to reconcile. It is 1913 when Berto returns to his small Oaxacan ranch to find that his beloved wife, six months with child, has been brutally murdered. Devastated, he sets out to find the murderers and exact revenge, but what he will find on this journey is that justice is elusive, much more so than vengeance.


 

 

The Delirium of Simon Bolivar. El delirio de Simón Bolívar. By Tina Datsko de Sánchez, Edited by Roberto Cabello-Argandoña, Translated with commentary by José Sánchez-H., Prologue by Edward James Olmos. ISBN 978-1888205343. $25.95.

This is a joint Spanish/English bilingual publication of Floricanto Press and Berkeley Presses. INTERNATIONAL PRAISE FOR THE DELIRIUM OF SIMON BOLIVAR “Beautifully exploring the theme that ‘only those who see the invisible can do the impossible,’ this exciting, lucid, and often heartbreaking collection of poems tracks the life and consciousness of the great Liberator Simon Bolivar. There are poems that tell us how he was loved, what freedom means in today’s Latin America, how he felt as he contemplated death and exile, and much, much more. Looking at this towering figure from countless separate angles and through countless lenses, we begin to understand the man who sought ‘to challenge/ like Don Quixote/ what all believe they see.’ A must read.” —José Rivera Academy Award® nominee for Best Adapted Screenplay (The Motorcycle Diaries)

“An important topic, never before so deeply explored in poetry.” —Jorge Ruiz Bolivian pioneer filmmaker and winner of the Smithsonian’s James Smithson Bicentennial Medal (Come Back, Sebastiana)

“Tina Datsko de Sánchez’s book, The Delirium of Simón Bolívar, seems to me an important work. Her desire to make known in the USA an historical figure so extraordinary, courageous and lucid is an admirable goal. It reveals the degree of Tina’s spirituality, which moves her to bring back a lost but necessary memory and share with her compatriots the presence of a human being of absolute greatness as was Simón Bolívar. Her verses struck me as very beautiful, with a notable capacity of synthesis, and holders of the undeniable emotion of doing something for all.” —Jorge Sanjines Cannes Film Festival Winner of the Great Young Directors Award (That’s the Way It Is)

The Delirium of Simón Bolívar brings to life, through inspired poetry, a life that should be known by all.” —Ligiah Villalobos Writer/Producer and winner of the Estela Award (Under the Same Moon)

“Every verse is music, philosophy, pure magic. Different compositions, at times, refer to the history of a true hero, the nostalgia for a “mythic time” where everything seems to have paused forever. The author also refers at times to things that can seem simple, but with the punctuality of the cruel reality of a fierce suffering, as if making it normal and part of daily life. All of that carries the reader to another dimension; her poetry in this sense might be called almost “magic.” Poems that travel across time and space, among the infinite dimensions of the universe. The metaphors that are included in the volume are also of an artistic depth without equal. The author is an architect of poetry that is sincere, authentic, and spontaneous. One might say it is poetry inspired by the instinct of the heart.” —Valentina Casagrande ARCI – FILMSTUDIO ’90 de Varese

 


 

 

Dictatorship: The Imposition of U.S. Culture on Latin America Through Translation. Peter A. Neissa. ISBN: 978-1-888205-10-7. $24.95.

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.

 

 


 

 

The Druglord. By Peter A. Neissa. ISBN 091574526. $22.95.

It is the true life story of Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha, the drug lord of the Bogota branch of the Colombian Drug Cartel, this historical novel offers a factual and knowledgeable Colombian perspective that well connected Colombians have known for years: the real Drug Cartel, a group consisting of over two-hundred drug traffickers, met for the first time in 1976, not to discuss drugs, but to devise a solution to the kidnapping and murders inflicted upon them by the Marxist guerrillas. This led to cooperation on other matters --like cocaine. The Drug Lord, born an outcast in 1952, during Colombia's bloody civil war, rose from poverty to multi-billionaire status in the violent world of cocaine traffic. It is the gripping story of the Drug Lord's history when at age six, he witnesses the massacre of his family by the Colombian Army. It shows his involvement with the adolescent city gang, El Centro, which controlled Colombia's lucrative emerald black market, to the Cartel's development from a national to international status.

     


     

     

    The Great Latino Revolt, Oscar Zeta Acosta, and the Birth of the Latino Insurrection. By Burton Moore. Edited by Roberto Cabello-Argandoña and Yasmeen Namazie. ISBN 978-1482773781. $14.95.

    This is a joint publication of Floricanto Press and Berkeley Press. Brown Buffalo, as he was known in the barrios of Los Angeles among street people, at the height of the riots in in the late 1960’s and 7O’s, was the epitome of the Movimiento. He was smart, rebellious, unpredictable, occasionally high on drugs, but terrifyingly honest to himself and the world. This is the story of the rage and fury that swept LA during the gestation of the Movimiento Chicano and of the remarkable life of Oscar Zeta Acosta, a radical civil-rights lawyer who defended Chicano activists, won new rights for Latinos, and challenged the LA estab1ishment. Burton Moore, a journalist and writer who worked with Attorney Acosta, witnessed many of the events that swept Los Angeles into a new age. He recounts the famous school walk-outs, the confrontations with the Catholic Church, the arson at the Biltmore Hotel, the rebellion in the streets, the Chicano protest at UCLA, and the Moratorium Riot, which ended with the untimely death of Ruben Salazar. These events are pictured against a background of life in East Los Angeles a generation ago. It is written as a tribute to that generation and to the young men and women who were inspired by the Movimiento. The author covers the legal skirmishes orchestrated by Oscar Acosta following the riots of the late 1960’s—to free vatos y carnales from incarceration and police brutality—and provides an intimate biography replete with little known facts of his life from his youth to his untimely and mysterious death. Acosta emerges as a towering leader capable of inspiring and rallying the community in the streets, mesmerizing the TV audiences, and defending effectively the rioters in court. A restless man who was in conflict with himself, and able in the end to endure his own nightmares. Burton Moore was a renowned journalist, and social critic on the tradition of Oscar Lewis and Michael Harrington. Upon nearing the completion of this hook, he, and his family, were unexpectedly informed of his impending death of cancer. Burton Moore bravely carried on this important testimony of social injustice in the barrios of L.A. He had set to accomplish it, most elegantly. A seemingly simple, but elusive and daunting task of explaining the events and historical roots at play on a series of riots in the Mexican American community in the decades of 1970s and 1980s through the tale of the life of one of the most tenacious leaders of those volatile times, Oscar Zeta Acosta. Burton Moore has legated to his family, friends, and the Latino community in general, and the Mexican American community, in particular, which he so much loved, a clear and invaluable insight that social justice is a conditio sine qua non for social peace. Undoubtedly, he embarked on warning America that disparities of wealth, education, and opportunities, and racism will inevitably lead to periodic social disruptions. Burton Moore shall not be a vox clamantis in desertus, a lonely voice in the desert, but an unequivocal J’accuse, a historical indictment to an unjust society. He regarded nothing which concerned man as alien to his interests: homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto. We shall keep his voice alive for years to come, and as new generations of Americans emerge, they shall learn of his message of social peace and justice. Burton Moore you shall be missed Resquiscat In Pacem, amicus noster. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña.


     

     

    Huevos y la Mujer Latina: The De-masculinization of the Macho. Julián Camacho-Segura. 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."

     


Latina Icons: Iconos Femeninos Latinos e hispanoamericanos.María Claudia André. 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.

 


 

Murder in the Mountains. By Raoul Lowery Contreras. ISBN-13: 9781888205640 . $23.95

This book is published by Berkeley Press. On a bitterly cold February night of 1992, the Armenian government ordered its troops to destroy an innocent town of 6,000 people in the Caucasus Mountains. The town was Khojaly in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region. Surrounded on three sides by Armenian troops and their allies, the town was destroyed in less than three hours by bombardment, tanks and hundreds of attackers on foot. Khojaly’s people were chased down and those not fast enough — women and children and the elderly — were massacred in what the Armenians claimed was a “humanitarian corridor”. It was a killing field for hundreds of unarmed men, women and children. It was a preplanned and organized ambush that felled men, women and child victims in open fields with no cover. The Human Rights Watch called it “the largest massacre in the conflict” between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Khojaly was one of the first atrocities of the war waged by Armenia against Azerbaijan in the early 1990s eventually resulting in the illegal military invasion and total ethnic cleansing of twenty percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory. It is representative of a conflict frozen in time; a conflict that has no international outrage to push for a solution. This was only the beginning of years of attacks and terror. The story is real, supported by undisputed facts and captured by eyewitness reports. The story of Khojaly should be told so that such human brutalities are never repeated. 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

The Secret of a Long Journey. By Sandra Shwayder Sánchez. Edited by Yasmeen Namazie and Roberto Cabello-Argandoña. ISBN 978-1480285033. $24.95.

The Secret of a Long Journey is the story of a cherished and dangerous secret, passed along from generation to generation through many lands and many perils: from Spain to Flanders across the ocean to Vera Cruz and up through the desert to what is now New Mexico. In magical realist style, this chronicle takes the Sephardic characters through the terrors of the Inquisition, shipwrecks and hurricanes, sandstorms and wars, lost loves and illness, all culminating when Lois Gold, a passionate court advocate for the disenfranchised, discovers the legacy of her lost grandfather.

“In The Secret of a Long Journey, Sánchez moves effortlessly through time and place with a mesmerizing plot. Generations come and go and each one propels the next. Her fascinating characters are solidly grounded in vivid natural or urban environments. Whether it is 16th century Flanders or 20th century Denver, you never lose the thread of the story, thanks to the author’s mastery of craft and her powerful imagination. The characters will lodge in your mind long after you’ve read the book . . .” Gloria DeVidas Kircheimer, author: Goodbye Evil Eye, and Amalie in Orbit.

“Sandra Shwayder Sánchez explores in intimate detail the experiences and emotions of her characters as she takes the reader on a vividly imagined journey from the old world to the new, through history to modern times. In poetic prose that summons all of our senses, Sánchez creates and maintains unique voices that speak through the generations and the blending of cultures and faiths.” Linda LeBlanc, author Beyond the Summit.

The Secret of a Long Journey is a lyrical, textured, beautifully told tale of lives lived and lost and secrets kept and shared. This mesmerizing page-turner takes readers on a journey from 16th century Flanders and North America’s “New Spain” to 20th century America. Steeped in history and rooted in an insightful novelist’s understanding of the complex, fragile, and sometimes nefarious emotions that embody the human psyche, Sánchez weaves the story of one family’s unwavering, intergenerational commitment to cherish and transmit its cultural and spiritual heritage. Set against the backdrop of Inquisitional Europe and the early history of the Spanish rule of the American southwest, The Secret of a Long Journey chronicles the lives of painters and healers, explorers and adventurers, lawyers and cowboys . . . Along the way, it sheds light on the intricate ways Sephardic Jews, Spanish, Native American, Mexican and Anglo cultures often collided, sometimes comingled, and ultimately coexisted, finding a way to transmute ancient traditions into contemporary secular justice and compassion. Mary Saracino, author of The Singing of Swans (Pearlsong Press 2006), Voices of the Soft-bellied Warrior (Spinsters Ink Books 2001), Finding Grace (Spinsters Ink 1999) and No Matter What (Spinsters Ink 1993). Sandra Shwayder Sánchez is a native of Denver, Colorado and a retired attorney who now resides in the small mountain town of Nederland with her husband of nearly twenty years, John Edward Sánchez.