Friday, March 03, 2006

El Chuco, Rio, Oxnard

Manuel Ramos

Christine Granados' Brides and Sinners in El Chuco (University of Arizona Press, 2006), has at least two guys (who should know) impressed:

“Christine Granados’ stories are sharp, evocative portraits of El Paso which deserve a wide readership. Her fiction does not flinch from hard truths or taboos. And her spare prose cuts to what is essential, what is hilarious, and what makes us who we are. A wonderful debut.” —Sergio Troncoso

“Defying what is expected of a Chicana writer, Granados is helping to re-orient Latino literature away from poignant, romanticized goody-goodyism, toward stark, complex storytelling that will remind the many of us who have grown up imperfectly what it is to be living on the embattled fronteras of Mexican and American.” —Dagoberto Gilb

The publisher says this about the book:
"In the border town of El Paso—better known to its Mexican American residents as El Chuco—dramas unfold in humdrum households every day as working-class men come home from their jobs and as their wives and children do their best to cope with life. Christine Granados now plumbs the heart of this community in fourteen startling stories, uncovering the dreams and secrets in which ordinary people sometimes lose themselves."

The current issue of January Magazine features an excerpt from Pursuit (Henry Holt, 2006), the latest Inspector Espinosa mystery from Luis Alfredo Garcia-Roza. January says this about Garcia-Roza:

"Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza is a bestselling novelist who lives in Rio de Janeiro. The Espinosa mysteries have been translated into six languages. Pursuit is the fifth book in the series. The previous four titles are available in paperback from Picador."

And here's what January says about the book:

"A hospital psychiatrist feels he's being stalked by a patient. For as long as possible, he convinces himself that the young man is harmless, but when the doctor's daughter disappears and the patient goes missing too, he calls on Espinosa for help. Soon after, the patient turns up dead."

Check out the excerpt.

The Ventura County Star reported the opening of the Luis Leal Library at the Mexican Consulate in Oxnard (CA) on February 24. Leal is the well-respected former Chicano Studies professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

According to the Star, the library was named for Leal because of his contributions to Latin American, Mexican and Chicano literature. Leal also donated books.

Leal has published more than 40 books and 300 articles and has received numerous honors including the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor bestowed by the Mexican government on foreign citizens. Leal (98) taught at the university until two years ago, where he was the director of the Center for Chicano Studies.

The Star quotes María Herrera-Sobek, associate vice chair of diversity, equity ad academic policy at UCSB and the Luis Leal Endowed Chair in the university’s Chicano Studies Department: “He’s very warm, very humble, very generous with his students.”


No comments: