Monday, November 09, 2009


As readers of La Bloga know, Michael Nava has excelled as both a writer and lawyer. A Phi Beta Kappa from Colorado College, Nava went on to earn his law degree from Stanford University in 1981. From there, he worked with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, a prestigious private appellate law firm, and then as a research attorney first with the California Court of Appeal and now with the California Supreme Court as a judicial staff attorney for Associate Justice Carlos Moreno. Nava also happens to be the author of nine books.

While studying for the California Bar right out of law school, Nava started writing his first book which began his seven-volume mystery series featuring his openly gay protagonist, Henry Rios. His novels were published to great critical acclaim and include The Little Death, Goldenboy, How Town, The Hidden Law, The Death of Friends, The Burning Plain and Rag and Bone. The novels are discussed in a number of critical and scholarly works including Contemporary Gay Novelists, Emmanuel Nelson, ed. (Greenwood Press, 1993), and Brown Gumshoes: Detective Fiction and the Search for Chicano/a Identity, Ralph Rodriguez, ed. (University of Texas Press, 2005). He is at work on a new novel.

Nava has announced a new endeavor: He will be running for San Francisco Superior Court in 2010. He has set up a website for those who wish to show support. While it is true that Superior Court judges are often appointed by the Governor, attorneys may also run for open seats on the bench, or even challenge sitting judges who must be submitted to the voters every six years.

Nava is involved in the community as an active parishioner at Most Holy Redeemer and was a member of the board of directors of the GLBT Historical Society. He was a founding member of the state bar’s Council on Access and Fairness, which advises the bar on diversity issue. Nava is mentor and a tutor in programs sponsored by the Bar Association of San Francisco, the San Francisco Law Raza Lawyers and For People of Color, a nonprofit that helps students of color enter and succeed in law school. He is a member of the state bar, the Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco La Raza Lawyers and the Hispanic National Bar Association. He is a remarkable candidate for an important job. Consider supporting Michael Nava for judge.


I am delighted to announce that my new collection, Anywhere But L.A.: Stories (Bilingual Press), has been released and may be ordered from Bilingual Press, your favorite bookstore, or online. The cover art is by José Ramírez, an award-winning Los Angeles artist who received a BFA (1990) and an MFA (1993) in art from UC Berkeley.

Anwhere But L.A. will be "launched" on November 13, 2009, 8:00 p.m., by The New Short Fiction Series (produced by Sally Shore with actors reading selections) at the Beverly Hills Public Library, 444 N. Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. Performance begins at 8:00 p.m. Box Office opens at 7:30 p.m. Admission: $10.00. I will be signing books immediately after the performance. If you haven’t been to the Beverly Hills Library before, it is quite beautiful. Let’s fill the place with Raza! Other readings are being planned including at ChimMaya, Kepler’s Books, Metropolis Books, and other fine venues.

Some kind words about my new book:

"Like the cities they describe, the stories in Anywhere But L.A. shift and slide and refuse to be pinned down. Daniel Olivas is an exciting writer, whose prose rings with humor, insight, and power." -- Daniel Alarcón, author of Lost City Radio and War by Candlelight

"Funny yet touching, these skillfully rendered characters remind us of our own vulnerability. Individually, the stories are punchy and sharp; collectively, the stories create a colorful mural of a thriving Latino community." -- Kathleen de Azevedo, author of Samba Dreamers

"Olivas’s impressive talent gives readers a glimpse, often uncomfortable, inside the hearts and minds of characters who are trapped, hopeful, afraid, or falling in or out of love; that glimpse drives readers to the exasperating and, ultimately, very human core of Olivas’s excellent stories." -- Manuel Ramos, author of The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz

◙ The Latest on

NFL Reaches Out to Latino Fans

Another Look at Veteran's Day From Another Perspective

Latino in America a Bust?

News from the Brown Side of Town Part 1 ~ November 2009

La Casa Azul Bookstore's Aurora Anaya-Cerda

The Girl in the Cafe

The Reader

◙ ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Don’t miss out on Reyna Grande’s book tour for her new novel, Dancing with Butterflies (Washington Square Press), which has garnered great praise including a Starred Review from Publishers weekly. Her events are listed here.

◙ SMALL PRESS MINI-SPOTLIGHT: Noemi Press is a 501(c)(3) literary arts organization based in Las Cruces, New Mexico, dedicated to publishing and promoting the work of emerging and established authors and artists. The editor is Evan Lavender-Smith and the publisher is Carmen Giménez Smith. Noemi Press publishes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama and theory. For the press’s submission schedule, go here.

◙ That’s all for now. In the meantime, enjoy the intervening posts from mis compadres y comadres here on La Bloga. And remember: ¡Lea un libro!

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