Animals of My Land. Animales de mi tierra. By Rossy Evelin Lima, and Gerald Padilla. Illustrated by Gaby Rico. 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
The Armor of Love and Hope. By Doris Mercado. by 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.
A Century of Pachangas. Betty Serra. ISBN: 978-1491259207 $19.95
This is a publication of Floricanto Press. A Century of Pachangas (parties) is a deluxe package of celebrations, featuring ribbon-cutting family drama. The helium balloons in this pachanga are a series of inflated scandals due to infidelity, lunatic rage and psychological imbalances. Like all families, there is loss and tragedy, but resilience triumphs over their fixations and shortcomings. This family memoir focuses on the author’s maternal side of the family, starting with Rosa Balladares, born in 1884 in Managua, Nicaragua. Orphaned at the age of two, Rosa grew up quickly and left her uncle’s unhappy home within a decade. Relatively a young teen, she achieved total independence and later transformed herself into a woman that ruled her household with absoluteness, dispensing proclamations as if a medieval dungeon awaited anyone who failed to follow her majestic orders. Unlike most women of her era, she was skilled in the art of fist-fighting, shooting pistols and swordplay. And although she couldn’t read or write, she was brilliant in that she ran a house, a business and scoundrels out of town. The first half of the memoir (beginning in 1884) introduces the core of the Balladares Family, which consists of Rosa, the wandering husband she threatened to shoot and five daughters who survived into adulthood. The women turned out inflexible, controlling and overbearing, just like their mother. They had the audacity to want to set the world straight in the midst of their own family chaos and meltdowns. The few men who came to know or love them were forcibly exiled, and the grandchildren were indisputably named Balladares. It wasn’t until the next generation, particularly those born in the U.S.A. when the Balladares surname lost its elasticity to band everyone and the newborns were named after their fathers. The second half of the memoir (beginning in 1952) highlights the immigration of a few Balladares women into the States and their wacky adventures. The author, a Balladares descendent, reminisces over her childhood memories, the merging of two colorful cultures and the meddling of Latin American relatives dropping in and out, causing insurmountable disturbances. Each of the Balladares women reappears, sporadically throughout the memoir. They’re all much older, but not necessarily wiser. Oftentimes, it’s their children or grandchildren who complete the lesson for them. Still, it’s mind-blowing how their fiery spirit enabled them to reach another country, cross into a new century and stamp the Balladares imprint of tenacity onto subsequent generations.
César Chávez y la Unión: una historia victoriosa de los de abajo. By Víctor Fuentes. Leyla Namazie, editor. ISBN 978-1511639934. $24.95.
This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses. This ground-breaking book—written in Spanish—by Dr. Víctor Fuentes, Professor Emeritus of the University of California, is the most comprehensive illustrated and well-documented biography of César Chávez. It describes his life and strife as a labor and political leader of farm workers in the California fields of tears. This is a social, political and agricultural labor biography of the unique and well suited leader that helped bring about such landmark improvements of farm workers’ welfare and economic conditions. Inspired by advocates of nonviolence, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, he sought to redress economic deficiencies and injustices in the agricultural fields of California. He was the driving force behind seminal events, such as the creation of the United Farm Workers Union, the organization of nationwide boycotts and marches against the large farming enterprises and growers. Deeply religious and committed to the cause, La Causa, Cesar Chávez lived to see the gains he had so hardly fought for. The book is greatly complemented by rare photographs of his life and the labor struggles he successfully led. Leyla Namazie, LatinoBooks.net
Este importante libro biográfico e ilustrado es publicado por Floricanto Press. Conmemorando el 50 aniversario del gran triunfo de la Huelga de la Uva, iniciada el verano de 1965, este libro compagina el estudio de la historia de la Unión de Campesinos con el de la persona de César Chávez. Se divide en dos partes con ocho capítulos.
La primera parte, tras evocar cómo César, de niño y adolescente, vivió en carne propia la explotación y el sufrimiento de los campesinos, y de tratar de su forja como gran líder comunitario y laboral, se ocupa de la gesta que llevó a la Unión, bajo su dirección, a lograr algo antes nunca conseguido en la historia del país por los trabajadores campesinos. En la segunda parte, se historia de cómo, y con sus altibajos, la Unión llegó a un gran ápice a mediados y finales de los años 70. Con su infatigable dinamismo y entrega, César Chávez, en su última década, se mantuvo vivo, para los otros, hasta la muerte. Y el grito liberador de la Unión y de la Causa campesina, “Sí se puede”, se ha convertido en un grito universal de cuantos luchan contra fuerzas detractoras aparentemente inexpugnables.
Chalino: A Chronicle Play of Fulgor and Death=Una Crónica Teatral de Fulgor y Muerte. By Julian 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. Chalino’s contribution to the musical genre of corridos bridged Mexican immigrant music of the Mexican corrido with Mexican-American youth; Chalino’s corridos and music have forever changed the social fabric of Chicanos in the music scene in Los Angeles. His music helped many Chicanos have a cultural reaffirmation of who they are, allowing Mexican youth in Los Angeles to immerse more deeply into their own Mexican Norteño culture. Chalino’s unique singing style turned him into a legend that many have tried to imitate, but there will never be another man like him. Chalino defied the odds and became successful starting his own legacy as the king of corridos. Through his art form Chalino left behind his fame and a corrido legacy that was materialized and created in el rancho de Los Angeles, California.” Marcos A. Ramos, University of California, Berkeley. “In the vacuum of Mexican American leadership because of accommodation or negotiation, Chalino emerged as that cultural icon very much needed at a time that Mexicans suffered the single largest decline of income since the great depression of any group in the US from 1989-92. When hope was lost, and I lived through the LA Riots in front of my house in Lennox Chalino was that inspiration so much needed at that time. Prayer, employment, and government assistance had all failed to make my heart happy, and even though Chalinos’ music did not fill my hunger, it satisfied my heart at a time it needed nourishment.” Ricardo Camacho, A Chalino Fan!
Cinco De Mayo: A comprehensive Illustrated History. By Roberto Cabello-Argandoña. ISBN 978-1483923970. $19.95.
"The somber reality of foreign naval invasion of Mexico by three major world powers at the time, Spain, Britain and France constituted the prelude to the Battle of Cinco de Mayo. Spain was the first country to have the troops ready for the invasion of Mexico. General Serrano, Commanding General of Cuba, then still a Spanish possession, prepared three army divisions, who were shipped in 13 frigates and supported by 13 transport ships, all under the command of Marine Commanding General Joaquín Gutiérrez de Ruvalcaba. The Spanish troops occupied the castle of San Juan de Ultia and the Port of Veracruz on December 17, 1861. Great Britain sent a naval infantry detachment of 700 soldiers and occupied the ports of Veracruz and Tampico on January 6, 1862. On January 8, a French infantry regiment arrived comprised of nine companies, including cavalry, artillery, experienced African Zouaves, and African Escorts (Cazadores). This setting was the beginning of the conflict which led to the Battle of Puebla on Cinco de Mayo, 1862. The author provides a most detailed account of the forces and activities of the French and Mexican sides, during the last three days before, the day of and the day after the battle itself. Examines also the inspiring history of a triumphant Chicano general, Ignacio Zaragoza, (1829-1862), born in a period of international conflicts and forced to flee from his home as a youth because of the American settler's revolt in Texas in 1836. It includes nine patriotic poems (Spanish-English parallel text) written in California between 1864 and 1865 commemorating CINCO DE MAYO and published for the first time in monographic form. Unquestionably, this is the definitive history book on The Battle of Puebla on the Cinco de Mayo, 1862. "This is an amazingly interesting work of historical narrative on Cinco de Mayo dating from 1861, California 1864-1865, and its geopolitical ramifications; ably introduced with a compilation of illustrations from the period." Dr. Namazie.
Clay Hills and Mud Pies. By Annie Mary Pérez. ISBN 978-1481184809. $14.95.
Skeletons abound in this revealing but poignant biography recounting a Mexican American family’s one hundred year history in the United States. Three Memoirs in one, this San Diego Book Awards Finalist is rich with Mexican folklore and Americana. In Book One, which opens with a ghost story, the author describes her father’s life growing up motherless in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It includes early memories of sleeping in abandoned houses, working for his aunt, who was a bootlegger, riding the rails as a youth, serving in World War II, and finally, marrying her mother in February of 1946. In Book Two she describes her mother’s life growing up on a dairy farm in Mesilla, New Mexico during the Depression. It includes early memories of picking cotton as a child and the first of a series of prophetic dreams. It also includes stories of her grandmother’s encounter with the Twelve Apostles and her grandfather’s finding buried treasure. In Book Three, she describes her own life growing up in a Los Angeles barrio, early memories of domestic violence, her parents’ divorce, caring for her parents in their declining years, and ultimately, dealing with the loss. The book concludes with her father’s philosophies on youth and life. “Young people especially will benefit from this pleasant read. They will feel inspired to set their own goals.” Ambassador Julián Nava.
Coconut Versus. By Daniel Jose Ruiz. Edited by Leyla Namazie. ISBN: 978-1540806307 364 pages. $24.95
Fiction / Hispanic & Latino, Chicano literature, Latino literature, Hispanic literature, Latinos--Social life and customs Fiction, Barrio life Fiction
Forthcoming: place advanced orders at a discount
Everyone calls Miguel Reyes a coconut, brown on the outside and white on the inside. Among his family in central California, he’s the too soft city-boy. His family try to teach him what it means to be a Reyes and to understand manhood and its value within a rural life. Miguel doesn’t always want to be a man by their often-conflicting definitions. In Arizona, he’s a brown boy in an upper-class, white neighborhood. He has no real friends as no one there seems to understand how someone could be brown without being poor. He spends most of his time alone or playing video games with his little brother Angel, yet Angel is already starting to excel past Miguel in all areas in which children are judged. Miguel falls in love for the first time, and he falls in love with a sport that provides an outlet for his growing anger, but then his growing anger is part of the problem.
Competing Truths in Contemporary Latin American Literature: Narrating Otherness, Marginality, and the Politics of Representation. By Sandro R. Barros. ISBN 978-1-888205-32-9. $26.95.
The overwhelming success of the filmic adaptations of Before Night Falls by Cuban exile Reinaldo Arenas, The Virgin of the Assassins by Colombian writer Fernando Vallejo, and City of God by Brazilian author Paulo Lins attracted audiences worldwide to rediscover and rethink the content of these works as enigmatic messages of disillusionment and abjection regarding the Latin American realities they promote. The original texts' representation of sicarios, favelados, and homosexual dissidents undermines the conceptualization of the Latin American continental identity as "Other" in relation to dominant Eurocentric and North American perspectives. Competing Truths delves into the question of to what extent the fictional and autobiographical truths purported by the aforementioned bestsellers engage in the process of fixating conventional paradigms of "Third World" identity, such as poverty, violence and exclusion, as images of consumption for world audiences.
Furthermore, Competing Truths examines what constitutes truth and reality from a perspective that assesses Latin American history and culture in a contest for the very meaning of the postmodern truth. Competing Truths presents a critical reflection of three of the most compelling and successful novels emerging from the Latin American literary scene at the end of the 20th century, questioning the politics behind their historical, racial, and gendered representations. Competing Truths explores the Latin American identity within a literary fictional framework and realistic social paradigms, a dichotomy that challenges the reality of identity of the social types. Lector, The Hispanic Book Review Journal.
In Competing Truths Sandro Barros presents a highly provocative, sharp and critical dialogue with the main theoretical proposals that deal with cultural identities. It is not fortuitous that the three contemporary Latin American works Barros analyzes present a first person narrator, since it is through the (de)construction of subjectivities that the authors approach social and political issues. For Barros, subjectivity establishes the base to address agency and victimization, the private and the public, the margin and the center, memory and History, and finally the national and the foreign. When referring to "postmodern truth", Barros is not only questioning, but also confronting modern western episteme. A welcome addition to the field of Latin American literary criticism and Cultural studies. AileenEl-Kadi Assistant Professor and Organizer of Brazilian Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Sandro R. Barros is Assistant Professor of Modern Languages at DePauw University. He has taught at the University of Michigan, Western Illinois University, and West Texas A & M University. He earned his B.A. in Music and Spanish and holds a Ph.D. degree in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Cincinnati with a dissertation on current representations of Latin American marginality in foreign literary markets. Dr. Barros has published articles on Reinaldo Arenas, Cervantes, Paulo Lins, and Fernando Vallejo. His current interests include critical/resistance pedagogies and the political implications of Latino literature in the U.S. curriculum.
Cuba Libre. Mentirita! 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 firsthandaccounts and anecdotes--and takes the reader through Cuba's history from José Martí to the present regime.
Cuban Seeds. By Louis Villalba. ISBN: 978-1541185524 208 pages. $24.95
Hispanic Biography, Latino Biography, Cuban American Biography, Cuban American literature, Latino literature, Hispanic literature, Latinos--Social life and customs, Cuban American Social life and customs
Chelo fled Cuba in search of freedom in 1961. Born in a small village near Havana in 1921, she married Adolfo Llano in 1944. The couple resided in Artemisa, the cradle of the Cuban Revolution of 1959. They came in contact with some of its most prominent leaders and endured the cruel communist tyranny, which ended their prosperity and cut short their bliss. The Llanos left the island empty-handed. Chelo’s steel-forged nerves and resourcefulness steered her family to success in their new world. It would have been easier to be a fake revolutionary like Fidel Castro—who used deception and wielded a gun to suppress the free will of his people—than be a real fighter and do what she did day after day. Her life stood out as a monument to Cuban tenacity. History books did not record the events because she had lacked political ambitions and had not tortured or killed anyone. Yet, her anonymity would have been an irreparable loss
The Cubans: Our Legacy in the United States: A collective biography. By Fernando Hernández. ISBN: 978-1888205411 $23.95
This is a publication of Floricanto Press. The Cubans: Our Legacy in the United States chronicles the Cuban immigration to the United States from the 1800s to the present era. The author analyzes the impact the Cuban community has had on the cultural, economic, social, sports, and political scene in American society throughout multiple generations. Cuban immigrants have been one of the most successful communities in the United States. The book examines the contribution to baseball from Martín Dihigo to Tony Pérez and from Ernesto Lecuona to Gloria Estefan in music. In business circles the reader will discover that The Coca Cola Company, the Kellogg Company and McDonalds Corporation had Cuban-born Chief Executive Officers and that Movado watch company was owned by a refugee who fled communist Cuba. The book vividly depicts more than 250 extraordinary and intriguing men and women that make for engrossing and captivating reading.
The Delirium of Simon Bolivar. El delirio de Simón Bolívar. By Tina Datsko de Sánchez. 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
Desire I Remember, but love no. By Sergio Téllez-Pon. Don Cellini, translator. ISBN 978-1484082409. $11.95.
What happens when a young poet in Mexico City writes about his coming out experiences? In No recuerdo el amor sino el deseo / Desire I remember but love, no the author shares these first steps: new romances, one-night-stands, unreturned phone calls, erotic adventures and disillusionments. What we discover is that these experiences are not unique to one individual, but belong to all of us. This is a book that crosses many boundaries, both geographical and emotional. Poetry of language and imagination, especially its intimate and earthy episodes, and an open heart (but in slant verse), this book welcomes – as if several shades were refracted and condensed into a quick, minimalist mosaic – a multitude of tones, voices, and passionate interests that acknowledge each other. In this way it manages happily to offer both poetry for poetry’s sake as well as poetry for the sake of the poet: thoroughly youthful, concrete, and in living color. – José Joaquín Blanco Sergio Téllez-Pon is one of Mexico’s leading poets of queer identity, but his work until now has been almost unknown in the United States. With Don Cellini’s lucid translation of No recuerdo el amor sino el deseo, Téllez-Pon’s sultry and lyrical poetry comes alive for an English-speaking readership. This book of first loves and first heartbreaks speaks with a lonesome voice of fire and ash, each poem is a feverish spear, a cup brimming with sensuality, with sorrow and the everyday joys that keep “hope beating strong.” I find that each poem discloses something—about myself, about the world, about life—that I didn’t know I needed to learn. I hope that other readers will join me in reveling in these soulful and celebratory and heart-breaking verses. —Lauro Vázquez, Letras Latinas
Don Cellini is a poet, translator and photographer. A book of poems Candidates for Sainthood and Other Sinners / Aprendices de santo y otros pecadores, in collaboration with Fer de la Cruz, is forthcoming from Mayapple Press. He is a recipient of fellowships from the King Juan Carlos Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Cellini is professor emeritus at Adrian College in Michigan.
Encounter Between Cuentos and Versos. By Irene Pérez. 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.
Euler's Conjecture=La Conjetura de Euler. By Bruno Estañol. Translated by Dr. Eduardo Jiménez Mayo. ISBN: 978-1480093898 $24.95
This is a publication of Floricanto Press. In the spring of 2009, New York University's journal of creative writing, Washington Square Review, published a selection from Euler's Conjecture to much critical acclaim, featuring it at the issue's launching party. This novel constitutes an apocryphal diary of the French Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot, tracing his reflections from the time of his imprisonment at Vincennes to his legendary confrontation with the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler at the court of Catherine the Great. Devotees of historical fiction will not find satisfaction in these pages. Instead, a furiously strange mind, prone to fits of merciless humor and anachronistic embellishments, has constructed a delightful maze for his readers around the problem of humanity's simultaneous fear of and attraction toward the problem of the infinite. Human beings may be blind when it comes to life's ultimate questions, yet Bruno Estañol hints that the greatest legacy of the Enlightenment resides in how its most ingenious figures managed to accustom their eyes to the dark. Bruno Estañol has received two national prizes for literature in Mexico, having authored numerous strange and tragicomic novels and short story collections, among them Fata Morgana and Passiflora Incarnata. A congenital writer of fiction, he also holds degrees in medicine and neuroscience from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and Johns Hopkins Medical School, which explains his parallel dedication to scientific research.
Everything We Think We Hear. By José Ángel Araguz. Leyla Namazie, Editor. ISBN 978-1518644917. $9.95.
This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses.
Everything We Think We Hear is a collection of prose poems and flash fictions in the tradition of the Latin American microcuento. At turns fabulistic and true to life, these short pieces tell stories about growing up in and out of South Texas and about the role family mythology has in relating to the world. Through experiences articulated via poetic prose, this collection presents Latin@ storytelling as a way to understand the universal through the personal.
What is the meaning beyond memory’s hauntings? How does one survive the multi-faceted self fashioned from such meanings? Poet José Ángel Araguz’ unflinching collection, Everything We Think We Hear, considers these questions from all angles and gives us answers as adamantine and brilliant as the prose poems he has fashioned in his questing.
Sarah Cortéz, Councilor, Texas Institute of Letters, Author of Cold Blue Steel.
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”
Galician Memories. By Daniel Otero. ISBN ISBN-13: 978-1530915644 . $ 18.95. 6" x 9" Latino Nonfiction Book/ Biographies
This book is published by Floricanto Press.
Simon Baixa was born in the town of O Grove, Galicia, Spain and was literally born with a mark on his back, a target of society’s injustices. a victim of circumstances when his parents are taken away by the Franco regime and were made to disappear for their political beliefs; this three-year-old orphan is, then adopted by his Uncle Antonio, a member of the local Amo do fuma (a version of Galicia’s Mafia).
Simon grows up to become a smuggler within this family of bootleggers whom try to survive against poverty. As Antonio’s liquor routes begin to prosper, the local Amo do fuma Chief, Esteban Concepcao begins to take notice. Esteban wants these routes for himself and when Antonio rejects his proposal, this mob boss will send his enforcer, Guillo. When one attempt of a shakedown against Simon fails, the Baixa family will become a target of Esteban’s ruthless ambitions. Jonathan, Antonio’s son takes a beating from Guillo that nearly cost him his life. Here’s where Simon does the unimaginable, a ‘hit’ on the mob boss and his enforcer.
Simon has to run and leave Galicia for good! Without any other alternatives, he escapes to France and foolishly joins the French Foreign Legion under a falsified alias. Is Simon’s service to France redemption or will it sink him further into hell’s depravity? Violence will be a part of Simon’s life, from the back roads of Galicia to the battlefields of the Balkans.
Daniel Otero, intends to bring light on the dark side of Galician life. On an existing problem that has dampened this beautiful most northwestern region and mysterious place of Spain. Few authors have focused internationally in the past on the issues of Galicia and its secret society, the Amo do fuma (Galicia’s version of the Mafia). With proud traditions and Celtic ancestry, Galicia has today evolved into greatness against poverty and overwhelming odds. It further focuses on survival a mist crisis and how a boy has to be taken brutally and yanked from his childhood to become a man! The author skillfully meshes history, Galicia’s social problems, a gangsters’ way of life and militarism. Without any apologies, Daniel wants to give Galicia its overdue honors. By saying, “It’s our time!”
The Great Latino Revolt, Oscar Zeta Acosta, and the Birth of the Latino Insurrection. By Burton Moore. Edited by Roberto Cabello-Argandoña and Yasmeen Namazie. ISBN 978-1482773781. $14.95.
This is a joint publication of Floricanto Press and Berkeley Press. Buffalo, as he was known in the barrios of Los Angeles among street people, at the height of the riots in in the late 1960’s and 7O’s, was the epitome of the Movimiento. He was smart, rebellious, unpredictable, occasionally high on drugs, but terrifyingly honest to himself and the world. This is the story of the rage and fury that swept LA during the gestation of the Movimiento Chicano and of the remarkable life of Oscar Zeta Acosta, a radical civil-rights lawyer who defended Chicano activists, won new rights for Latinos, and challenged the LA estab1ishment. Burton Moore, a journalist and writer who worked with Attorney Acosta, witnessed many of the events that swept Los Angeles into a new age. He recounts the famous school walk-outs, the confrontations with the Catholic Church, the arson at the Biltmore Hotel, the rebellion in the streets, the Chicano protest at UCLA, and the Moratorium Riot, which ended with the untimely death of Ruben Salazar. These events are pictured against a background of life in East Los Angeles a generation ago. It is written as a tribute to that generation and to the young men and women who were inspired by the Movimiento. The author covers the legal skirmishes orchestrated by Oscar Acosta following the riots of the late 1960’s—to free vatos y carnales from incarceration and police brutality—and provides an intimate biography replete with little known facts of his life from his youth to his untimely and mysterious death. Acosta emerges as a towering leader capable of inspiring and rallying the community in the streets, mesmerizing the TV audiences, and defending effectively the rioters in court. A restless man who was in conflict with himself, and able in the end to endure his own nightmares. Burton Moore was a renowned journalist, and social critic on the tradition of Oscar Lewis and Michael Harrington. Upon nearing the completion of this hook, he, and his family, were unexpectedly informed of his impending death of cancer. Burton Moore bravely carried on this important testimony of social injustice in the barrios of L.A. He had set to accomplish it, most elegantly. A seemingly simple, but elusive and daunting task of explaining the events and historical roots at play on a series of riots in the Mexican American community in the decades of 1970s and 1980s through the tale of the life of one of the most tenacious leaders of those volatile times, Oscar Zeta Acosta. Burton Moore has legated to his family, friends, and the Latino community in general, and the Mexican American community, in particular, which he so much loved, a clear and invaluable insight that social justice is a conditio sine qua non for social peace. Undoubtedly, he embarked on warning America that disparities of wealth, education, and opportunities, and racism will inevitably lead to periodic social disruptions. Burton Moore shall not be a vox clamantis in desertus, a lonely voice in the desert, but an unequivocal J’accuse, a historical indictment to an unjust society. He regarded nothing which concerned man as alien to his interests: homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto. We shall keep his voice alive for years to come, and as new generations of Americans emerge, they shall learn of his message of social peace and justice. Burton Moore you shall be missed Resquiscat In Pacem, amicus noster. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña.
The House in the Clouds. By Gloria Durán. 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.
I Will Be An American . . . Someday Soon: The Questions & Answers to the Citizenship Test. Bloomfield, Gary L. ISBN: 978-1481012690 $10.00
This is a publication of Floricanto Press. Gary Bloomfield’s has compiled and developed a list of the most frequent questions asked for the American citizenship test administered by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to those applying for U.S. citizenship. This questionnaire includes the precise answer to each of its questions. Those immigrants who desire to become American Citizens will be very well served preparing themselves for this test using and studying this brief manual.
Idealismo Triunfador de la Juventud: Victoria sobre la infamia. By Héctor Pereyra-Suárez , Edited by Leyla Namazie. ISBN-13: 978-1533257215. 140 pages. $16.95
Fiction--Latino business and economics; Latino--Social life and customs; Latino spanish Fiction, Hispanic spanish Fiction
This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses.
Todos los personajes se hacen reales, gente de carne y hueso: muy verdaderos. El lector se enamora de unos y detesta a otros. Hasta ve, de cuerpo entero, como es cada uno físicamente, del modo en que se viste y su manera de hablar. Se enfada con los que son hipócritas, viciosos, faltos de honradez o crueles, y espera verlos castigados, lo cual presencia más tarde. Se encariña con los personajes buenos, les perdona errores, y se deleita cuando triunfan. Los personajes malos no cambian. Los buenos sorprenden al revelar, sin darse cuenta, que son cada vez más virtuosos: justos, castos, honestos, íntegros. Y el lector se inflama con la aspiración de ser como ellos.
Island of Dreams. By Jasminne Méndez.ISBN 978-1493580880. $13.95.
“My family has been forced to live like an island with no political party, president, or official language. We are not of any “new world” Columbus discovered. We are not Dominican enough or American enough to call either place home. We live and love with one foot on the ground and one foot in the sea.” This is how Jasminne Méndez describes what it was like for her to grow up a Dominican American military brat. Always feeling like a foreigner in both lands because people want to know “where you from,” and “how do you know Spanish?” In "Island of Dreams," author Jasminne Méndez, addresses these questions and their complicated answers in a multi-genre memoir that effortlessly blends poems and short stories to offer a glimpse into the challenges, joys, hopes, fears and disappointments she and her family faced being Dominican in America. Her work explores everything from the love/hate relationship she had with her hair and her mother, to the many memorable but sometimes unpleasant family vacations and holidays she shared with her parents, siblings, primos, tíos, y tías. These captivating stories and poems are about family, food, love, culture, self-discovery, assimilation, and the American dream. They are about a young girl who respects the richness and abundance of her cultural history, but who struggles to form her own identity because her Dominican values conflict with her American self and all she wants to do is find a place to call home. Join memoir-writer Jasminne Méndez in this luscious recalling of her family’s multi-faceted sojourn of family ties and their meaning, glorious cooking and eating, belonging and not belonging, and so many other complicated forays into the storied past. Sarah Cortéz, author, Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston.
Jasminne builds bridges between many worlds. Her potent voice conjures images of the Dominican Republican, Texas, Houston, the world. I've had the pleasure of seeing her perform in person. She is amazing in 3D. Actually, she performs in 6D-adding spirit, whimsy, and the future. She code-switches so brilliantly that you don't notice that she has jumped from Spanish to English to Spanglish to universal themes and back. Her work not only stands up on the page but takes on new meaning with potency, shattering barriers, breaking borders. This book will boggle your mind and thrill you. Tony Díaz, El Librotraficante, founder of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say
Latino and Latina Leaders of the 21st Century: Ordinary Beginnings, Extraordinary Outcomes. Kayla García. ISBN: 978-1888205480 $24.95
“ This book is published jointly by Floricanto Press and Berkeley Press. Latino issues are everybody’s issues. The Latino and Latina leaders portrayed in this book have made valuable contributions to our social, legal, political and educational systems. This book provides comprehensive stories of courageous men and women who have defied expectations, overcome adversity, set precedents, and dedicated significant time and energy to helping others achieve their goals. Active locally, nationally, and internationally in a variety of professions, these individuals offer proof that ordinary or even humble origins can lead to extraordinary accomplishments. This collective biography expounds on well-known and otherwise Latino leaders who are at the front of their fields. It includes well-known individuals, such as Sonia Sotomayor, First Latina on the Supreme Court; Dolores Huerta, Union Organizer and Community Activist; Jorge Ramos, News Anchor and Advocate; John Haroldson and María Chávez-Haroldson, District Attorney and Leadership Facilitator; and Sandra Cisneros, Author and Activist. It includes, as well, many others, such as Julián Castro, Mayor of San Antonio; Nydia Velázquez, Representative for New York; Luis Gutiérrez, Representative for Illinois; Marco Rubio, Senator for Florida. It also comprises leaders in fields of education, community activism, and literary figures such as Cherríe Moraga, Advocate for LGBTQ, Latinos, and Indigenous People, and Elena Poniatowska, an internationally known ally to Latinos.
Líderes latinos del siglo XXI: Latinas y latinos que están transformando la sociedad. Kayla S. García. ISBN-13: 978-1888205527. $26.95
Los líderes y activistas latinos retratados en este libro están transformando nuestra sociedad. Han hecho contribuciones significativas a nuestros sistemas legal, político y educacional. Este texto incluye historias comprensivas de hombres y mujeres que han desafiado las bajas expectativas de sus maestros, han superado serias adversidades, han establecido importantes precedentes sociales y han dedicado muchísimo tiempo ayudando a otras personas a conseguir sus propias metas. Estos individuos siguen activos en una gran variedad de profesiones y organizaciones a nivel local, estatal, nacional, e internacional. Sus vidas constituyen pruebas irrefutables de que es posible superar obstáculos tales como la pobreza, la discriminación, las enfermedades graves, y las agotadoras responsabilidades familiares para arribar a metas sobresalientes.
Long Way Home. By Harold J. Recinos. ISBN-13: 978-1888205626. $19.95
Latino barrio Poetry--Social Life and customs
This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses.
The poems in Long Way Home memorialize, historicize, publicize, and chastise with beautifully woven words that seek to incite change by bridging the great gulf between parent and child, neighbor and neighbor, holy word and vulgar indifference, Spanish and English, between the promise of America and its bleak reality. These are gritty tales of real people who we are too often invisibilized. Though the poet implores us to see and hear and touch the downtrodden, he does not invoke pity, but admiration for their endurance, empathy so that we might see how our destinies are intertwined, and anger for the way the vulnerable are exploited.” Louis Mendoza, PhD, Prof. of Literary and Cultural Studies, Arizona State University; Author of Conversations Across Our America: Talking About Immigration and the Latinoization of the U.S. (University of Texas, 2012).
“More academics should follow Harold Recinos’ lead in bringing highbrow aesthetics to the giddy reality of those in need. To read poetry rooted in the margins is to discover the existing beauty in the midst of despair and disenfranchisement. Recinos paints for us what those with privilege seldom get to see.” Miguel de la Torre, Prof. of Social Ethics, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado. Author of The Politics of Jesus: a Hispanic Political Theology (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015) .
“Harold Recinos’ work has always involved interrogation of the conditions of life. This same concern for the structural and inner workings of human life also informs these poems. Whether or not you agree with the theology under girding this collection, you will appreciate the passion and commitment to well-being it seeks to communicate.” Anthony B. Pinn, Prof. of Humanities; and Religious Studies, Director of Graduate Studies; Author of Humanism: Essays on Race, Religion and Popular Culture (Bloomsbury 2015).
Los Duros. Martinez, Manuel Luis. ISBN: ISBN: 978-1497473553 $24.95
“This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses. Los Duros is a destitute colonia suffocating in the brutal heat of the Mojave Desert. Families must live without running water or electricity as they attempt to survive on the edge of the Salton Sea, a toxic lake where dead fish rot and poisons pollute the shore. The reality of living in the shanty wastelands of the affluent jewel cities of southern California threatens to destroy two young men living in desperate poverty and abandonment. On a night of unthinkable violence, Banger and Tarasco will be thrust together as they confront the tragic circumstances that threatens to claim them as two more squandered casualties to the callous indifference suffered by those forced to live in the shadows. Guillermo, an idealistic teacher, and Juan, the long-absent father of one of the boys, are desperate to help them when Banger and Tarasco become suspects in a local arson and double-murder. Los Duros examines the role of fate in the lives of a generation of forgotten children; can love achieve redemption for a tortured father and raise the hope that origin does not constitute destiny? This is a crucial and timely story of a place that seems far away, but exists in the darkest recesses of our America and its dissipated dream. “In the tradition of Richard Vásquez and Tomás Rivera, Martinez brings to life the bleak — though not hopeless — world of Los Duros, a colonia of poor Latinos and undocumented workers located outside the wealth and sprawl of Palm Springs. Following the intertwined lives of four of its residents — a high school teacher newly arrived from San Antonio who uses his classroom for activism and uplift; one of his students, a man-sized Native American boy trying to hide from the world within his silence; another student, brash and angry and with a wild streak; and that boy’s estranged father, recently released from the penitentiary and wanting to atone for all the ways in which he has failed his son — Los Duros is Border Realism at its best, John Steinbeck in twenty-first century brown skin.” --David Wright, author of Fire on the Beach: Recovering the Lost Story of Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Lifesavers “Los Duros is a haunting story of racism and poverty and sacrifice and love. Manuel Luis Martinez writes with such courage and grace, and he has much to show us about the comings and goings of people forced to the edge. The characters and events of this novel are unforgettable.” --Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever Manuel Luis Martinez is a native Texan currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and daughter. He serves as an associate professor of twentieth century American literature, American studies, Chicano/Latino studies, and creative writing at the Ohio State University. His novels include, Crossing, Drift, and Day of the Dead. Most recently, he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. For a student study guide with news articles, interviews, documentaries, and other features including interaction with the author, please visit: www.facebook.com/LosDurosNovel. You may visit the author’s webpage: ManuelMartinez.info, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
María's Purgatorio. By Patrick Fontes. 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.
Mexican Queer Theater. By Clary Loisel, Ph.D. Leyla Namazie, Editor. ISBN 9781519636881. $16.95.
This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses.
Kudos to Clary Loisel’s Mexican Queer Theater for advancing the English translation of the early work of gifted playwrights such as Elena Guiochíns and Mayho Moreno. Loisel’s take on “Connecting People” is so right and hilariously iconoclast! The play reveals Guiochíns’s early interest in the playful deconstruction of the text and displacement of essential notions of human will. Loisel’s translation of this work marshals a great many knowledges as it rightly sutures the delivery of Connecting People’s fractured edgy humor and its contestation of time, space, and subjective agency. In contrast to this, Loisel’s skillful translation of Mayho Moreno’s beautifully seductive but disturbing Between Sun and Shadow, of a willful young woman and her thirty-something female lover, presents the reader with what appears to be an uninterrupted distracted tension between the two women, which then culminates in a sharp register of sinister dominance by the older over the younger. Thanks to Loisel’s translation, the reader realizes the younger will emerge victorious given her expansive imagination and greater capacity for dark eroticism.
Adelaida R. Del Castillo, Associate Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies San Diego State University
Migrant Earth. By Ramón Mesa Ledesma. ISBN:13: 978-1888205534. $22.95
Migrant Earth very eloquently documents the travels and travails of a family of Mexican migrant workers as they wander the Western United States in the nineteen forties and fifties. These are poignant tales that paint the life and death struggle of a family living on the periphery of a dominant white culture that simultaneously loathed and needed them. They owned but the clothes on their backs and lived in rat infested, dilapidated agricultural labor camps throughout the Pacific Northwest. They worked from sunup to sundown in pesticide laced fields under scorching, unrelenting summer suns. While wandering the countryside working the fields--white society was too genteel to harvest--they dreamed of better times and the safety of a piece of land they could call home. Ultimately they were able to save enough to purchase a small thirty acre farm in Eastern Washington. But just when the hard life seemed over, his padres divorced and mamá with nine children in tow was sent back on the migrant labor circuit.
A Most Memorable Quinceañera. Una Quinceañera Muy Memorable. By Leslie Concepción. ISBN: 978-1494253776 $14.95
This is a publication of Floricanto Press. “Saying goodbye to childhood is never easy.” The magical day, when a girl can play out her own fairytale fantasy and be a princess for a day, is her Quinceañera, and for Mimi that day has finally arrived. But instead of the excitement and jubilation she is expected to feel, all she can summon is uneasy dread and anxiety about what this day means. Her parents have been planning this event her whole life and Mimi is filled with the weight of their expectations, to act like a proper lady and know what to do. She doesn't know what to do and can’t comprehend how an archaic ceremony can change the way people see her, and how she could be a woman just because the calendar marks her a day older. Mimi doesn’t want people to treat her differently and no amount of rehearsing can mask the insecurities she feels. To make matters worse her cousin, Lala, picks the day of Mimi's Quinceañera to reveal she is pregnant, and it's only been a year after her very own Quinceañera. Mimi is distraught and believes that is what happens when parents, family, and society, rush a girl into womanhood. This is all the more reason for Mimi not to accept the tradition of publically becoming a woman. This is a coming of age story about two cousins, who are the best of friends. While her cousin, Lala is thrilled to enter womanhood, Mimi is not so enthusiastic and doesn’t feel she is ready for all the social responsibilities that come along with being a woman. The girls will learn to stick together and that the bond between family is stronger than any rite of passage. A very elaborate descriptive and story about the conflicts and tribulations in a young girls’ life as she enters womanhood. Everyone needs a Tia Emmi in their life. By Judy Paneto-Roman Great book about the the Quinceañera culture. As a mom of a soon to be teenager, I will pass down this book to my daughter so that she can learn about the culture and the importance of family. Jessica Cortez A most memorable story I was quickly captivated by this story, as I can certainly relate to all the drama and prepping that goes into planning "Sweet 15" Quinceañera it's something we all look forward to when coming of age, Leslie's story is definitely something I would hand my daughter prior to her Quinceañera. Veronica Paneto Mimi’s character transported me back to a time in my life where I was caught between innocence and the impending “Real” world. Her struggle is personal and heartwarmingly portrayed and I was easily wrapped up in the story. Deborah Rosa, MA A Most Memorable Quinceañera, is a wonderfully human and culturally sensitive story about a Latina girl's passage from childhood to womanhood. Mrs. Concepcion captures all the fears and apprehensions of this passage from a young person's point of view and allows her characters to make mistakes and misjudgments along the way. The author's interweaving of the Quinceañera ceremony makes for a fascinating exploration of growing up. In the end, the greatest discovery is that no one has to fear the future if there is love and support around you. Gayle S. Hoffman, MSW, ACSW.
Murder in the Mountains. By Raoul Lowery Contreras. ISBN-13: 9781888205640 . $23.95
Noldo and his Magical Scooter at the Battle of The Alamo=Noldo y su patinete mágico en la Batalla de El Álamo. By Armando Rendón. ISBN 978-1490428659. $14.95.
Noldo is a Mexican-American boy, who, after building his own scooter from scraps, is magically transported from 1950’s San Antonio, Texas, into the middle of of the Battle of the Alamo, where he befriends a lad who lived more than a hundred years earlier. He lives through hard times, making do with very little. The story forges a link for Chicanos to their historical roots in the Southwest, revealing a past that has been otherwise excluded from school textbooks and the mass media. Noldo es un chico mexicoamericano, quien, después de construir su propio patinete de materiales de desecho, es mágicamente transportado del San Antonio de los años 50’s a la Batalla de el Álamo, en donde se hace amigo de un muchacho que había vivido más que cien años antes.
Él vive aquellos tiempos tan difíciles, siendo muy creativo con lo poco que tiene. La historia tiende un puente que va desde los chicanos de hoy día hasta sus raíces históricas en el Suroeste, revelándonos una historia que ha sido excluida de los libros de texto y de los medios de comunicación. Armando Rendón grew up in the Westside barrio of San Antonio, Texas, and much of our hero’s story and background sounds a lot like the life and times of the author. Armando moved to California in 1950 and lives near Berkeley with his wife, Helen. He authored Chicano Manifesto, the first book about Chicanos by a Chicano, in 1971. He is also the founder and editor of the online literary magazine, Somos en escrito, which he launched in November 2009.
Armando Rendón creció en el barrio del oeste de San Antonio, Tejas, y gran parte de la historia de su héroe y de su ambiente semejan bastante la vida y la época de su autor. Armando se mudó a California en 1950, vive en Berkeley, California, con su esposa, Helen. Armando es autor del Chicano Manifesto, el primer libro sobre los chicanos escrito por un chicano, en 1971. Es fundador y editor de la revista cibernética, Somos en escrito, creada en noviembre de 2009.
Once in a Lifetime. Chris Campanioni. ISBN 13: 978-1-888205-54-1. $11.95
Fifty poems and one day provide the footage for Fifty poems and one day provide the footage for Chris Campanioni’s Once in a Lifetime (a film in four acts). But even time gradually dissolves in this coming-of-age drama interlaced with pop music, the age of Internet and status updates, cinema and celebrity, memories of Cuba and Poland, and the passage to the United States. Runtime: 24 hours.
“Incredible stuff here, truly. If readers looked no further than the wordplay and love of language and rhythm, they’d be delighted. But there is so much going on below the surface, which I guess is also one of the author’s many points. Visceral and moving.” — Across the Margin.
“I love Campanioni’s poetry . . . reminiscent of the leading Chicano poet Luis Omar Salinas. Cheekiness and delicateness all in one.” — Rosebud Magazine.
“In his follow-up to the award-winning In Conversation, Campanioni doesn’t just re-invent form, he tries to re-create language via a collision of cultures and pop referents. He doesn’t rely on his formal tricks and the result is a poignancy and intimacy we haven’t seen before. Once in a Lifetime is equal parts cut-up and confessional.” — Giancarlo Lombardi, Professor of Italian and Comparative. Literature, College of Staten Island & Graduate Center/CUNY.
The Ones Santa Anna Sold. Valle-Sentíes, Raquel. 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.
Paletitas de Guayaba. On A Train Called Absence. By Erlinda Gonzales-Berry, Translated with commentary by Kay (Kayla) S. García, Translated with commentary by Erlinda Gonzales-Berry. 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.
Pig Behind The Bear. Maria Nieto. Edited by Ms. Yasmeen Namazie and Jose Hernández; Illustrated by Celeste McCarty. ISBN 978-1480093676. $19.95. Winner of the First Place of the Latino Book Award (Mariposa Award for Best First Book)
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 Ruben 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.
Poems of Ramón López Velarde. López Velarde, Ramón. Edited and translated by Mark Jacobs. ISBN: 978-1494243791 $22.95
“López Velarde is the most admired and most carefully studied poet in Mexico . . . [He] left us a few poems . . . so perfect that it is foolish to lament those that death prevented him from writing.”—Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz
“López Velarde . . . was a wonder.” —Jorge Luis Borges
Millions of Mexicans know Ramón López Velarde as the author of Suave Patria, the national poem of Mexico, and a modernist masterpiece. But few inside or outside Mexico know the high opinion of him held by his fellow greats of Latin American poetry. López Velarde's Wikipedia entry correctly states: “Despite his importance, he remains a virtual unknown outside his own country.” As an example of how unknown, all the other major Mexican poets (and even some minor ones) are in The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry, but not López Velarde. He is truly a forgotten modernist master. In 1963, Pablo Neruda published his own selection of the poems of López Velarde. The Chilean Nobel Laureate even rented rooms in a former residence of López Velarde's where Neruda "began to live in the full atmosphere of López Velarde, whose poetry began to penetrate me . . . There is no more distilled poetry than his . . . [He] gave to the poetry of the Americas a flavor and a fragrance that will last forever . . . Few poets with so few words have told us so much and so eternally of their own land . . . [His] brief pages reach, in some subtle way, the eternity of poetry."
Por caminos errantes. Lima, Robert. ISBN: 978-1494354367 $14.95
This is a joint publication of Floricanto and Berkeley Presses. "Caminos errantes" is a collection of poems by Robert Lima. This poetry book is presented in four sections: I ABECEDARIO. II ARQUEO-ANTROPOLOGÍA. A. Maya. B. Andina. III SITIOS HABANEROS. IV CALLES LIMEÑAS. The poems evoke desire and physical presence, and the sharing of his personal experience of his relationship to the objects and places in the temporal world. It is an explication for why his own impressions are vitally important. His voice does not allow us to look away from his lyrical experience. Una colección de poemas en castellano por Robert Lima.
Por la Calle North Claremont: Beto Stories. Adolfo Butch Cárdenas. Yasmeen Namazie and Genevieve Miller, Editors. ISBN: 978-1481182911. $22.95.
In a world of literacy education where Hispanic literature is still a rarity, Por la Calle North Claremont: Beto Stories are a gem in that it will provide students with the confidence to see the importance of their own childhood experiences. Students can read this book knowing that Hispanic literature does not have to portray children in worlds of poverty with barrios full of unloving parents, racial turmoil, rampant crime, dog-eat-dog politics, and other hopeless situations. The author provides children with the hope of living a life with the same good natured character Beto encourages, and he also gives voice to those of us who grew up in happy homes, with loving parents and good friends. Of course, the book is true to reality in that Beto does experience the usual turmoil many children face such as not always getting everything he wants, stressful school relations, family disputes and corporal punishment. Yet, Beto ends up okay with the help of those who at times drive him crazy, yet love him always—his friends and family. The book’s ending will also leave students wondering what happens next to Beto as he grows into a fine young man, always honest, loyal, responsible, and fun-loving. Adolfo Butch Cárdenas
Reflections of a Hispanic Teacher:
Resistance to class and racial oppression in the classroom. José-Enrique Figueroa. ISBN: 978-1-888205-56-5. $24.95
This book offers a much-needed progressive-critical perspective of American education based on the experiences of a Hispanic teacher dealing with real issues in the classroom. Reflecting on twenty-one years of teaching in the trenches of the South Bronx and in the City of Yonkers, his background and upbringing as a Puerto Rican immigrant, and his family's struggle to ensure he was well educated, he now sees a failed education system laying blame in all the wrong places.
Intertwining real world teaching experience with pedagogic theories, vivid childhood stories of his grandfather, real life trials and tribulations of students in the classroom, and the values and dreams Hispanic writers pour into their poetry and prose, the author shows the complexity of the social order, its influence on education, and the reasons for perceived educational failures.
Exploring pedagogic theories, we see that prevailing reform theories, such as inclusion, fail to recognize education in the context of the social order. Children need to be taught individually; their intellectual, emotional, and behavioral needs cannot fit into a one-size-fits-all model. But how can we satisfy individual needs in a non-negative context? Systems, such as MicroSociety, that contextualize schools in an economics-based environment recognize a false social order, trap children in a system that in reality is littered with racism and classism, promote consumerism and same-ism, and stymie creative expression.
Romancero gitano. By Federico García Lorca. Edited by Leyla Namazie. ISBN-13: 978-1-888205-65-7. $9.95
El Romancero gitano, The Gypsy Ballads is a lyric work that Lorca began writing in 1923 and was published 1928. This Romancero is comprised of eighteen folk ballads about themes, such as night, death, blood, sky and the moon. The overriding theme is the Gypsy folk world. These ballads represent a synthesis of folk poetry and high lyrics, exposed in Andalucia and the Gypsy in a mythic and metaphoric style. This work reflects the sufferings of the Gypsy people, who are persecuted by authorities and their struggle against this repressive governmental overreach.
El Romancero gitano, The Gypsy Ballads, es una obra poética de Federico García Lorca, publicada en 1928. Este Romancero está compuesta por dieciocho romances con temas como la noche, la muerte, el cielo, la luna. Todos los poemas tienen algo en común, tratan de la cultura gitana. Representa una gran síntesis entre la poesía popular y la alta, transcurre entre dos temas prmordiales, Andalucía y los gitanos, tratados en forma metafórica y mítica. La obra refleja las penas de un pueblo que vive al margen de la sociedad y que se ve perseguido por los representantes de la autoridad, y por su lucha contra esa autoridad represiva.
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.
Seventy Times Seven. Ricardo Elizondo. Geoff Hargreaves, Translator. ISBN: 978-1482319231. $22.95.
“Why hurry to give a welcome to grief?” asks Carolina. In the 1880’s a Mexican family splits in two; Carolina remains in rural Mexico, while her two brothers head north to what will become urban Texas. Still connected but ever more separate, the three siblings pass through triumph and tragedy, laughter and tears, births and deaths, love and hate, as their genetic and cultural heritages adapt to or resist the challenges of changing and unchanging environments. This is a vivid family saga, told with stirring simplicity, where the past wrestles with the future and character is often destiny “I am glad to see that this classic of modern Mexican fiction is at last available in English.” Aglae Dickinson Dr.
Shattered Dreams: The story of a historic ICE raid in the words of the detainees. Gibbs, Virginia, and Luz María Hernández, Editors. ISBN: 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.
Silent Herons. By Selfa Chew. Toshiya Kamei, translator. Yasmeen Namazie, editor. 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.
Steven Isn't Normal. By Marco A. Vasquez.ISBN:13: 978-1888205510 $22.95
Steven isn’t normal. But, then again, nobody is. Still, ask anyone, and they’d tell you that Steven is retarded--because he is. Steven is a retard by definition and by practice. Mostly, he is a retard by circumstance. It’s an epithet given to Steven by his community: his neighbors, his peers, his family. It is a title that has been embedded in his psyche--a designation that has dictated his absurd existence. This absurdity is exemplified by his determination to fulfill his quest: the killing of his mother. Steven is convinced that his mother is plotting the elimination of the one thing that Steven holds dear: his bottle collection--the hundreds of bottles, from which he has meticulously removed the labels--which he has perfectly sorted and aligned against a secluded wall near the railroad tracks. On his journey, Steven’s chaotic family history is revealed, as Steven encounters an array of grotesque characters that, in their efforts to reinforce the label that burdens Steven, they exhibit their own retardation that has been, until then, successfully camouflaged and ignored by their own complacency.
Marco A. Vasquez' writing is always authentic, fresh, and steeped in pathos. It never fails to surprise with its insights into the darkest and most humorous moments of ordinary people . . . He's one of my favorite writers.
--John D. Payne, Professor of English
The Surrounding Sea. Friedman, Robert. ISBN: 978-1495934742 $22.95
This is a publication of Floricanto Press. The year is 2000 in Puerto Rico. Stevie Pérez and his girlfriend, Laura Rosario, have joined a student protest against the U.S. Navy’s bombing exercises that have caused illness, environmental damages and death on the offshore island of Vieques. The Riot Squad is called onto the campus to quell the protest and in the ensuing violence, Laura is hit by a stray bullet and killed. A grieving Stevie vows to keep Laura’s memory alive by creating a scholarship in her name. He is frustrated in attempts to get help in the community and decides to become a drug mule to obtain the scholarship money. After a few lucrative trips, he is set up in a drug theft. His 20-year-old life in danger, Stevie is forced to flee as the drug gang pursues him from the Bronx to San Juan to the mountain towns of Puerto Rico. Along the way, Stevie learns hard truths about life, love and loss.
Robert Friedman’s powerful new novel grabs us on the very first page, and takes us on an exciting journey. The author lived for decades in Puerto Rico, where he worked as a journalist, and he demonstrates an intimate knowledge of the island and a deeply felt concern for its people. This is a gripping account of lost love, the temptations of the drug trade, the island’s complex relationship with the United States, the dual world of Puerto Ricans in the diaspora, and the struggle to survive in a difficult world. A truly memorable, touching story. —Kal Wagenheim, author, playwright and editor of The Puerto Ricans: A Documentary History
Suzanna. Irene I. Blea. Yasmeen Namazie, editor. ISBN 978-1481021524. $23.95.
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.
Tales from Alturas: The Puerto Rican Mystique. Chaves, Emma. 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
The Tortilla Maker:
A Social and Historic Mexican American
Narrative. Jesús Ignacio Loreto de Arvizu. ISBN:13: 978-1500739874. $24.95
Ignacia Arvizu, a strong-willed Mexican teenager lost her father, a wealthy cattleman. Bandidos murdered him and stole the family fortune including all personal possessions; he left behind only an empty hacienda. Ignacia’s mother became destitute and had no choice but to find homes for her bright and attractive daughters. In 1913, Ignacia reluctantly entered--forced by her desperate mother--into an arranged marriage to an older, prosperous rancher in Sonora, Mexico. Ignacia, affectionately called Nana by her grandchildren, fought her abusive husband to protect her five children, among them Ramona, the author’s mother. Nana’s husband suddenly died of pneumonia leaving her once again destitute and now with five small children of her own. Nana--determined to find a better life--walked over a hundred miles with her children in tow for weeks, to reach the nearest city. This brave and exciting memoir recounts Nana’s, her daughter Ramona’s, and (Ramona’s son) the author Jesus’s amazing journey from third-world poverty to American prosperity.
Twitching Heart. By Matt Méndez. Edited by Yasmeen Namazie and Genevieve Miller. ISBN 978-1480257023. $17.95.
This is exactly how a winning debut should read—fluid and raw, redemptive and inevitable. Underneath the humor runs a gifted storyteller’s nuanced take on the paradox of the outsider. A triumphant first swing from one of the new stars in the next generation of Chicano lit. --Manuel Muñoz, author of What You See in the Dark
Méndez’s stories emerge out of the gritty and working-class barrios of El Paso. At times gesturing towards the magical realism south of the border, his characters struggle to carve out a piece of the “American Dream,” but the difficulties they endure often leave them speechless. This is where Méndez’s strength as a writer is most visible. While his characters struggle to find the right words, he does not. His prose is restrained, his metaphors apt, and his details are damn near perfect. The desert might be unforgiving, but Méndez is able to impart a degree of grace into his stories without resorting to sentimentality. One of the sharpest young writers in the Southwest, he gives voice to a region that has remained on the periphery of American literature for far too long. His will be a career to watch closely. --D. Seth Horton, Series Editor, New Stories from the Southwest and Series Co-Editor, Best of the West: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri
El Paso is at the center of the new map of the West. Matt Méndez writes from, and about, Chuco's heart. --Dagoberto Gilb, author of Before the End, After the Beginning
Born in El Paso (Chuco), TX Matt Méndez joined after the Air Force after graduating high school and after four years of active duty moved to Tucson, AZ where he works as an aircraft technician. He attended Pima Community College and the University of Arizona where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A in Media Arts. He went on to earn an MFA from the University of Arizona where he has taught fiction and other writing courses. Matt Méndez has been a speaker for Pima Community College’s Adelante Program, a program designed to help Chicanos earn college degrees, a community organizer working with teachers from TUSDs banned MAS curriculum, and a facilitator of creative writing workshops with Tucson youth. He also reviews books for the El Paso Times and currently lives in Tucson with his wife and daughter.
Valley Rising: A South-Texan’s Journey from the Migratory Fields to Successful Eye Surgeon. Gilberto Aguirre, M.D. ISBN 13: 978-1888205503 $25.95.
This is a powerful reflection—of a sincere man dedicated to the betterment of his Mexican American people—on the very deep, personal, structural and historical root causes of segregation and its dehumanizing effects. A personal and intimate story of the life of Gilberto Aguirre growing from infant to successful physician. From living in the barrio to a respectful neighborhood, you meet his family, friends, teachers, coaches and fellow workers that make up his multiply divided world of many social, economic and racial tensions. You experience the agonies and the joys, the frustrations and dreams, the painful insults and encouraging moments, and most of all the hard work fueled by the deep commitment to overcome the inferiority complex by achieving success without losing his Mexican American soul.
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.
Words of Power: Adages, Axioms and Aphorisms. By Ramón del Valle-Inclán.Translated with commentary by Robert Lima. ISBN 978-1484876022. $20.95.
Words of Power collects the ingenious adages, axioms and aphorisms culled from Ramón del Valle-Inclán’s plays, novels, poems, stories, interviews, letters and aesthetic treatises. Valle-Inclán lived a full and social life in which he interacted and influenced many writers, painters and composers of his period through his verbal and written wisdom. His insights into life and Art are gathered in Words of Power, together with illustrations of the man and his works. These have been collected and translated by the internationally-known writer, Robert Lima.
“ . . . the writings of Valle-Inclán ought to be engraved in enduring letters, in large clear letters on impressive folios, letters that would permit the appreciation of the exactness and delicacy of phrasing, the marvelous way of narrating beautiful things without recourse to artifice or base devices.” Juan Ramón Jiménez, Spanish Nobel Prize Winner.
“ . . . the copious anecdotes of his (Valle-Inclán’s) life will be used … to cast light on the depths of his personality.” Antonio Machado, Poet of Spain’s “Generation of 1898.”
“Through his beautiful and poetic stage directions, Valle-Inclán has given us a lesson in theatre technique . . . we can place the most fundamental staging techniques at the disposal of his magnificent words, the eloquent words which Valle-Inclán casts before us from the stage with a vigor and sonority which few dramatists anywhere have achieved.” José Tamayo, Theatre Director, Spain.
“Some people are capable of thinking of two things at once, but only Galicians are capable of thinking about three.” Salvador de Madariaga Spanish Philosopher and Critic.
Robert Lima is Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Comparative Literatures at The Pennsylvania State University, as well as Fellow Emeritus of the Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies; Academician, Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española; Corresponding Member of the Real Academia Española. He has been honored as an initiate of Enxebre Orden da Vieira, and was dubbed Knight Commander (Encomienda de Número) in the Orden de Isabel la Católica by His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
Xavier and the Bully. Xavier y el Chico Malo. Ronald W. Lemley Macías. Colección Floricanto Juvenil. ISBN:13: 978-1505209136. $12.95
When the roof of their old school fell in, Xavier and his friends are transferred to a newer school at the edge of the city.
They wondered if a group of Spanish speaking kids from the farm lands of the west county would get along in the new place.
Xavier had driven by it a few times with his father and it looked like a big white castle surrounded by gardens. What were the students like? Xavier hoped that they weren’t creepy or mean like the tricky Jones boys on the Kid’s Network.
Cuando se cayó el techo de su vieja escuela, Xavier y sus amigos fueron transferidos a una escuela nueva en el borde de la ciudad.
Se preguntaban si un grupo de niños de habla hispana de las tierras agrícolas de la provincia al oeste pudiera llevarse bien en el nuevo lugar.
Xavier había pasado por alli un par de veces con su padre y parecía un gran castillo blanco rodeado de jardines. ¿Cómo serían los estudiantes? Xavier esperaba que no fueran tan difíciles como los chicos malos Jones del Kid’s Network.
Ronald Lemley Macias is a bilingual teacher who grew up in Northern California. Much of the inspiration for this book was taken from real experiences from his childhood in the Pacific Northwest.
Ronald Lemley Macias es un maestro bilingüe que se crió en el norte de California. Gran parte de la inspiración para este libro fue tomada de experiencias reales de su infancia en el noroeste del Pacífico.
Yearners. By Marco Portales. ISBN: 978-1540879189 250 pages. $23.95
Fiction / Hispanic & Latino, Chicano literature, Latino literature, Hispanic literature, Latino Politics Fiction, Barrio life Fiction, Latino literature, Hispanic literature--Social life and customs, Latino literature Social life and customs
Yearners hope, pray, and wish life would be different, with needs shaping developments. Individual circumstances lead to short and long-term goals and desires, engendering, among other issues, men whoheed women from those who do not.
In "Yearners," Herson Moya and family members, friends, and closest employees weigh Herson’s prospects while he considers a run for Texas governor. His acquaintances know the world as it exists, yet spend their days on options that should improve life. But the status quo is not easily changed. Realities appear to have been created by design, and kept in place by forces that counter demographics. The status quo seems immovable, resisting human effort. Still, yearners nudge the world every day, changing views and altering society to promise more satisfying lives.