Monday, February 05, 2007


Monday's post by Daniel Olivas...

Daniel Alarcón’s fiction and nonfiction have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, Virginia Quarterly Review, Salon, Eyeshot and elsewhere, and anthologized in Best American Non-Required Reading 2004 and 2005. He is Associate Editor of Etiqueta Negra, an award-winning monthly magazine based in his native Lima, Peru. A former Fulbright Scholar to Peru and the recipient of a Whiting Award for 2004, he lives in Oakland, California, where he is the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College. His story collection, War by Candlelight (HarperCollins) was a finalist for the 2006 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award.

Alarcón’s first novel, Lost City Radio (HarperCollins) was published February 1st. He will be doing a series of readings in support of the novel, beginning in Oakland, and then throughout the Bay Area, as well as Chicago, Iowa City, Madison, Milwaukee, Boston, New York, Portland, Seattle, and Los Angeles. For a complete schedule of readings, visit Alarcón’s Web page. My interview with Alarcón appeared last week in The Elegant Variation. Scott Timberg, writing for the Los Angeles Times, offers a thoughtful profile on the author. Lost City Radio is Release of the Week over at CaliforniaAuthors. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reviewed his novel calling it a "bravura performance." Finally, there’s a fascinating interview of Alarcón by Favianna Rodriguez on Hard Knock Radio, KPFA 94.1 FM in Berkeley.

◙ To kick off a new exhibit at the Hayden Library on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus, Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian Claude Potts joins Fred McIlvain to interview Regents’ Professor Dr. Gary Keller the Director of the Hispanic Research Center about the internationally renowned Bilingual Review Press (BRP). Dr. Keller is a writer, educator, publisher, and art collector who mentors graduate students in the area of Chicano Studies at Arizona State. He is the author of numerous works regarding Mexican-American and Latino art, film, literature, linguistics, and language policy. In addition to the BRP, Potts and Keller discuss the concept of code-switching, independent publishing, social/noble bandits, centenial of the Mexican Revolution, U.S. Latina/o Literature in Spanish, the Transborder Library Forum, and the art collections of both Dr. Keller and Mexican American actor Cheech Marin. The exhibit “Publishing on the Borders: 30 Years of Latina/o Publishing by the Bilingual Review Press” showcases a broad selection of books published by and artwork commissioned by the Bilingual Review Press which publishes literary works, scholarship, and art books by or about U.S. Hispanics. The exhibit coincides with ASU Libraries’ hosting of the 2007 Transborder Library Forum/FORO Transfronterizo de Bibliotecas from February 20-24, 2007 on the Tempe campus.

◙ We get this news from our favorite magazine:

The February issue of Tu Ciudad, the English-language guide to Latino L.A., marks a new beginning for the magazine. As a result of overwhelming demand by both readers and advertisers, the Southland’s favorite bi-monthly magazine will now become a monthly that will publish 10 times a year. “We’re really proud to produce a magazine that has become an important part of the media landscape in Los Angeles, and grateful for the reception that both readers and advertisers have given to Tu Ciudad,” says Jaime Gamboa, the magazine’s Founder and Publisher. “Our change to a monthly will allow us to become more relevant and current, and help us better serve both our clients and readers.”

The new issue hits newsstands with an in-depth look at racially and culturally mixed Latinos in Los Angeles. The cover story, written by author and Mount St. Mary’s College professor Marcos McPeek Villatoro, explains how the offspring of mixed marriages are transforming what it means to be Latino in L.A., and why these new Angelenos may hold the key to racial harmony in our wildly diverse, and often times, divided city.

The article features several personal testimonies from contributing Latino writers who are mixed with Anglo, Jewish, Irish, Asian and black blood. They’re stories are insightful, touching and sometimes painful. And in Los Angeles — they’re increasingly common. “This city has the largest Latino population in the country,” says Tu Ciudad Editor-in-Chief Oscar Garza, “and with each generation it is inevitable that more and more Latinos will partner with non-Latinos and have children. And when these kids grow up, as we see in this story, they have a completely different way of looking at the world from a cultural and racial prism. They can’t help but change the city.”

Copies sold at stores throughout Southern California including Ralphs, Albertson’s, Vons, 7-Eleven, Rite-Aid, Barnes & Noble, Borders and newsstands throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.

◙ Speaking of Tu Ciudad, I was thumbing through the new issue and noticed a nicely-written profile of Alex Espinoza regarding his debut novel, Still Water Saints (Random House). Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times gave Espinoza's novel a rave review noting that "[h]is style is ominous, layered and clean -- reminiscent of a Hieronymous Bosch painting." La Bloga made note of this new book last week. I hope to get my hands on it soon.

◙ And some news from the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center: CSRC Press is excited to announce that the first book in the A Ver book series, Gronk, will be released in March. This book on the extraordinary artist Gronk launches a new era in the study of Latina/o art. Latina/o artists have received too little recognition, especially given their impact on the arts. The books in the A Ver series, each devoted to an individual artist, are designed to rectify this oversight by providing biographies, analysis, bibliographies, and full-color illustrations of the artist’s works. The series will be distributed through the University of Minnesota Press. To buy advance copies, go to their website. A DVD on Gronk and his works and two online resources—a teacher’s guide, and an extensive digital archive related to the book—will soon be available through the press.

◙ In Googling around the Internet, I found this wonderful resource from Columbia University: it’s a compilation, with links, to the various academic programs dedicated to Latino studies and Latin America and Caribbean studies both inside and outside of the United States. Check it out.

◙ That’s all for now. Until next Monday, remember: ¡Lea un libro!

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