Monday, February 07, 2011

Spotlight on Richard Yañez’s new novel, “Cross Over Water”

Richard Yañez, a native of El Paso, Texas, is the author of the story collection, El Paso del Norte: Stories on the Border (University of Nevada Press, 2003), which was a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters first book award. His work is anthologized in Our Working Lives: Short Stories of People and Work, U.S. Latino Literature Today, and Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas-Mexican Literature. He facilitates diverse writing workshops for community organizations and public schools through the PaPaGaYo Literary Center. He is a founding member of Con Tinta, a coalition of Chicano/Latino writer-activists. Having received a Master's of Fine Arts from Arizona State University, he earned teaching fellowships at Colorado College, the Center for Women's InterCultural Leadership at Saint Mary's College (Indiana), and served as a Visiting Writer at New Mexico State University. He is currently an associate professor at El Paso Community College. He is married to the Chicana poet, Carolina Monsivais, and they have a son. They live in El Chuco, Texas.

Richard’s new novel, Cross Over Water (University of Nevada Press), which was released on February 1st, centers on Raul Luis "Ruly" Cruz who is a young Mexican American who lives in El Paso. As the publisher explains: “As [Ruly] grows from awkward adolescent to manhood, he negotiates the precarious borders of family, tradition, and identity trying to find his own place in the Chicano community and in the larger world. This is an engaging and moving story of growing up in a borderland that is not only geographical but cultural and psychological as well.”

Cross Over Water has garnered praise from award-winning authors:

“The writing is excellent. Very sly story-telling, assured, calm, and enveloping.” --Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Hummingbird s Daughter

“An intimate portrait of a young boy's coming of age in El Paso, rich with details of the body and the landscape of the border. The rollercoaster in Ascarate Park, the murals of El Segundo Barrio, the ASARCO smokestacks, Chicos Tacos, the Cristo Rey monument. I felt transported back to the games and silences of my own childhood in that place-in-between.” --Alicia Gaspar de Alba, author of Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders

“The novel addresses a great subject, the life of a teenaged boy living in the fascinating and underexplored border area near El Paso and Juarez. The narrator, Raul, has a fertile nerdy mind and often a unique and interesting literary voice. The novel is a wonderful and funny look at the border and one boy's life there.” --Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why not invite Yañez to do a post about this:

"He facilitates diverse writing workshops for community organizations and public schools through the PaPaGaYo Literary Center."

Writing about how he did/does it, got it started, why it's succeeding, is the kind of info that might help others start the same.