We at La Bloga receive so many books to review each year that we 're never able to cover them all. A year ago one snagged my interest, and I went out on a limb to suggest that Cibolero by Kermit Lopez deserved to win the Premio Aztlán Literary Prize. Apparently, the gente de Premio Aztlán paid no attention to me, but nevertheless I stand by my original post.
Six months later, following in his son's footsteps, Kermit's dad also got his novel Sirena published by IUniverse. I don't know who wrote his story first--the son or the dad--but I imagine a family dinner at this house could be worth listening in on. Do they debate which is better, more historically accurate, or more Chicano? Are there family feuds where half line up with the old man and the other half with his hijo before la comida starts flying? Or do they do a typical Chicano-family thing and never talk about that subject?
In any event, below is info on E. G. Lopez's Sirena, taken from the book itself and the publisher's website. If anyone out there has had the opportunity to read both, we'd welcome your comparative lit piece on the two. It's a sign of the current flowering in Chicano lit when two in the same family can become authors. Who knows?--maybe there's a female member of the Lopez family composing something that'll top them both.
Overview from back cover: Epic account of a New Mexico Hispanic family swept up in a clash of empires, one waning and the other ascendant. A tragic tale of parallel nations, peoples, and lovers converging nowhere this side of infinity, marching in lockstep towards disaster.
The twins see it coming. Ron and Jake Valdez, prophets without honor, hamstrung by their own demons, powerless before the juggernaut. After Guantanamo, it was easy, first baby steps, later giant steps.
Homeland Security, Patriot Act, private armies, and concentration camps. In the name of freedom, they destroyed freedom, the bright shining star imploding, devouring itself.
About the author: E. G. Lopez was born in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. He is a Navy Veteran and graduate of the Milwaukee School of Engineering, BSEE, and the University of Pittsburgh, MBA, and a retired investigator for the National Labor Relations Board. In Sirena, he focuses his experience and a 300-year New Mexico oral heritage on an issue as old as humanity that threatens the integrity and the very viability of our great nation today.
N.B.: To my recollection, neither son nor dad tend to use the word Chicano in describing themselves or their work; the use of Chicano is purely my own perspective. - RudyChG