Friday, February 18, 2011

News and New Books

First up, a press release from Las Comadres about the list of books for the 2011 National Latino Book Club.

This is a very impressive list and I am happy to say that King of the Chicanos is part of the the July reading schedule.

Then, two new books markedly different from one another but that, in their own way, signify important milestones in the ever-expanding Chicana/Chicano and Latina/Latino literary canon.


Contact: Tina Jordan, AAP

AAP, Las Comadres Announce 2011 Titles for National Latino Book Club

New York, NY, February 8, 2011Las Comadres, the national Latina organization, in cooperation with the Association of American Publishers (AAP), has announced the 2011 titles for the Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club. Officially launched in June 2008, the book club meets monthly nationwide to discuss English-language works written by Latino authors. The book club also has monthly teleconferences, scheduled conversations with authors of the selected works and other special guests. Sixteen comadre book club facilitators participated in the selection of the titles. The 2011 reading list below includes fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature.

  • January – Stay With Me, A Novel by Sandra Rodriguez Barron (HarperCollins Publishers). Special teleconference for The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, Ilan Stavans, General Editor (Norton)
  • February – The Lady Matador’s Hotel, A Novel by Cristina García (Scribner)
  • March – The Next Big Story: My Journey Through the Land of Possibilities by Soledad O’Brien (Celebra)
  • April – The Frog Was Singing by Rita Rosa Ruesga (Scholastic Children’s), with additional discussion on The Trouble with Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante (Penguin Children’s)
  • May – The Island of Eternal Loves/La Isla de Los Amores Infinitos by Daína Chayiano (Random House/Vintage Español)
  • June – Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), with additional discussion on I Will Save You by Matt de la Peña (Delacorte Press) and The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • July – The Farthest Home is an Empire of Fire: A Tejano Elegy by John Phillip Santos (Penguin USA/Viking), with additional discussion on King of the Chicanos by Manuel Ramos (Wings Press), and Strawberry Fields: A Book of Short Stories by Chuy Ramírez (First Texas Publishers)
  • August – Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago (Random House)
  • September – The Realm of Hungry Spirits by Lorraine López (Grand Central) with additional discussion on The Traitor’s Emblem by Juan Gómez-Jurado (Atria Books)
  • October – If I Bring You Roses by Marisel Vera (Grand Central)
  • November – Tamales, Comadres, and the Meaning of Civilization by Carmen Tafolla and Ellen Riojas Clark (Wings Press) with additional discussion on Puerto Rican Goldilocks: A Lyrical Journey Through El Barrio by Marisel Anderson-Herrera (Author House)
  • December – The Couturiere, A Novel by María Dueñas (Atria Books)

Las Comadres President and CEO, Nora de Hoyos Comstock, continues to receive enthusiastic feedback from participants who credit the book club with introducing them to the work of Latino authors whose books they might not otherwise have read. “We are very happy with the response and are trying to find ways to continue to support as many authors as possible and to start book clubs in more cities,” Comstock said.

Best-selling author Esmeralda Santiago, the official spokesperson for the book club, expressed her pleasure at being a part of this experience. “The book club is providing an opportunity for Latinos nationwide as well as for book lovers across the country to share the pleasures of books and reading.” Currently, book clubs are held in 15 cities across Arizona, California, Connecticut, Washington DC, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island and Texas, with plans to expand in 2011 into many of the one hundred U.S. cities with Las Comadres members. The book club is open to the public. Readers can visit for details on locations for participating in the Las Comadres book club in their neighborhoods.

About Las Comadres
Las Comadres is a nationwide grassroots-based group of Latinas that was launched informally in April 2000 in Austin, Texas. The national networks were created in 2003 and have now grown to over 100 U.S. cities. Its 15,000 strong membership keeps Latinas connected via email networks, teleconferences, and monthly potluck events in individual cities. More information on Las Comadres can be found at For more information on about how to submit titles for the Las Comadres National Latino Book Club, please contact Tina Jordan at or (212) 255-0275.

About AAP
AAP is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. The association’s members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the elementary, secondary, post secondary, and professional markets, scholarly journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the association’s highest priorities.


These two new titles from Arte Público Press are exciting news. The first because a collection of Lalo Delgado's works is long overdue, but it looks like he finally is getting the publication treatment he deserved while he was still alive. The second because Latino crime fiction for young adults almost does not exist. The fact that a collection of this type of writing will soon be published, with a varied and excellent array of writers, is nothing but great. Text taken from the Spring, 2011, Arte Público marketing brochure.

Here Lies Lalo: Th
e Collected Poems of Abelardo Delgado
Abelardo "Lalo" Delgado, edited by Janica Linn Watts
Arte Público Press, April, 2011

Known as the “poet laureate de Aztlán” and called “the grandfather of Chicano literature” in his 2004 obituary in The New York Times, Delgado used his words to fight for justice and equal opportunity for people of Mexican descent living in the United States. A twelve-year-old when he emigrated from northern Mexico to El Paso, Texas, Delgado’s development as a poet and writer coincided with the Chicano Civil Rights movement, and so his poems both reflect the suffering of the oppressed and are a call to action. “We want to let america know that she / belongs to us as much as we belong in turn to her / by now we have learned to talk / and want to be in good speaking terms / with all that is america.”

Available for the first time to mainstream audiences, Delgado’s poems included in this landmark volume were written between 1969 and 2001, and are in Spanish, English, and a combination of both languages. While many of his poems protest mistreatment and discrimination, especially as experienced by farm workers, many others focus on love of family and for the land and traditions of his people.

Delgado wrote and self-published 14 books of poetry—none of which are available today—and five of them are included in this long-awaited volume. These poems by a pioneering Chicano poet and revolutionary are a must-read for anyone interested in the Chicano Civil Rights movement and the origins of Chicano literature.

Abelardo Lalo Delgado (1930-2004) was a poet, activist and educator. He is the author of 14 books of poetry, and his poems have been anthologized in numerous textbooks and anthologies, including Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature (University of New Mexico Press, 2008). He graduated from the University of Texas-El Paso in 1962, and helped create the Chicano Studies departments at universities throughout the western U.S. including the University of Denver. He taught Chicano Studies at Metropolitan State University in Denver for 17 years.

You Don't Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens
Edited by Sarah Cortez
Arte Público, April, 2011

The teens featured in these stories deal with situations typical to all young adults, including attraction to the opposite sex—or to the same sex, in one story—and first sexual encounters, problems with family and friends, academic and personal aspirations.

But they also deal with every kind of thrilling situation imaginable, from missing girls to kidnappings and dismembered bodies. A young girl finds herself living with her “family,” though she has no memory of them or who they claim she is. A geek at a prestigious public high school finds himself working with his very attractive arch-rival to solve the mystery of a severed, bloody arm that appears inexplicably in his locker. And Mike’s life sucks when his parents split up, but it gets worse when his best friend is abducted by a thug shot by Mike’s dad, a police officer. There’s something for everyone here, with aliens, ghosts and even an Aztec god making appearances in these stories.

Set in schools and communities from New York City to Venice Beach, California, the protagonists reflect the breadth and diversity of the Latino authors included in this innovative collection. Published authors such as Mario Acevedo, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Diana López, Manuel Ramos and Sergio Troncoso appear alongside less well-known authors who deserve more recognition. With an introduction by young adult literature expert Dr. James Blasingame of Arizona State University, this collection is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats until the last page is turned.

Sarah Cortez is a poet, educator, and law enforcement officer. She is the author of a poetry collection, How to Undress a Cop (Arte Público Press, 2000), which won the PEN Texas Literary Award in Poetry, and the editor of Windows into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives (Piñata Books, 2007), winner of a 2008 Skipping Stones Honor Award; Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery (Arte Público Press, 2009) and Indian Country Noir (Akashic Books, 2010). She lives in Houston, Texas.


My story, Back Up, is in You Don't Have a Clue. I don't have a complete list of all the authors, so if you are also in this anthology let us know who you are and the name of your story.

Melinda Palacio should be back next Friday with tales of her travels and adventures. Check her out.


1 comment:

Espana said...

Here Lies Lalo is a great collection and tribute. Much of the publicity surrounding Lalo and this book focuses on his activism for social justice. I want to emphasize that his poetry is more than that. "Preguntas Pesadas", for instance, sets aside ethnicity, nationality and discontent to peer deep into human questions. Here, the motifs of sleep, questions and definitions, and the tender concern for another, remind me of Jorge Luis Borges.