Friday, April 29, 2005

Some books make you stop reading. and that's good.

Friday: April 29, 2005

I stopped reading Eric Garcia’s Matchstick Men. I could not develop sustained interest in his criminals and their weirdnesses. I thought perhaps it was Mexico City that set me into a mental funk, and when I got back to Pasadena, the book was reading OK. Then it hit me, why bother? Back to the library it goes tomorrow, unfinished.

On the other hand, I stopped reading Alicia Gaspar de Alba's Desert Blood for a while, not owing to low quality, but because the first chapter left me gasping for breath, it was so stunningly powerful. The writer hit me right between the eyes and I hope you'll pick it up and see why.

The author of Sor Juana’s Second Dream has done it again, given us a piece that deserves to be a blockbuster. But won’t. Subject matter of crucial interest. Superbly written. So why doesn’t it get ink from NY or LA Times book reviewers? Or your local paper? I wonder if ethnic labeling of literature--Desert Blood has the subtitle The Juarez Murders–sets off a counter in the editorial computers "Quota exceeded. No more ethnic literature this quarter. Review something British instead."

You may enjoy following Gaspar de Alba’s blog on the rollout of this outstanding novel.

Click on the link embedded in the title, or use this: http://home.earthlink.net/~agdealba/blog/2005.03.01_arch.html

mvs

4 comments:

cindylu said...

I haven't had the opportunity to read any of GDA's books, but as a former student of her I greatly respect her research and teaching. I only own a collection of poetry by her, The Mystery of Survival.

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