Toni Margarita Plummer's first book, The Bolero of Andi Rowe, winner of the Miguel Marmol Prize, comes out in June from the new Curbstone imprint at Northwestern University Press.
From the publisher:
"Largely set in Los Angeles’s San Gabriel Valley, this prize-winning collection of interlinked stories centers on the Rowe family. Olivia Real, originally from Mexico, marries Charles Rowe in the 1970s. They have two daughters: Andi takes after her mother, Maura is blonde, blue-eyed, and fair-skinned. Olivia and Charles get divorced a few years later, but Olivia, whose parents died when she was a child, continues to have a special relationship with her Irish-born mother-in-law.
"Plummer’s characters share a keen sense of the loss that comes from distance both figurative and literal. In “Happy Hour,” Olivia grapples with her mother-in-law’s death, and in “To Visit the Cemetery,” she visits her parents’ grave in Mexico City, where she seeks reconciliation with her sister, who has remained in their native land. Andi, an architecture student in New York, struggles to connect to the friends and neighbors she’s left behind, including her best friend, a Filipina bent on finding love in the club scene, and Andi’s almost-sweetheart, a musician doctor-to-be torn between affections.
"When distances are closed between characters, the emotion and passion is explosive and honest. Plummer has written an evocative, sometimes surprisingly sexy collection that, when taken as a whole, shows an incredibly rich picture of a place and a way of life. The Bolero of Andi Rowe marks the arrival of a truly original voice in Latina fiction."
Here's Sandra Cisneros's blurb on this debut short story collection: "Heartfelt stories of girls who ache to live in any other world than the one given them and who disastrously believe falling in love is the only way to get there. American tales for the new millenium."
Watch for readings this spring and summer in your area. La Bloga will be doing a review and possibly a Q&A with Plummer.
From the publisher:
"Among the monsters said to roam the world’s jungles and desolate deserts, none is more feared than the chupacabra—-the blood-sucking beast blamed for the mysterious deaths of thousands of animals since the 1990s. To some it is a joke; to many it is a very real threat and even a harbinger of the apocalypse. Originating in Latin America yet known worldwide, the chupacabra is a contradictory and bizarre blend of vampire and shapeshifter, changing its appearance and characteristics depending on when and where it is seen. Rooted in conspiracy theory and anti-American sentiment, the beast is said to be the result of Frankenstein-like secret U.S. government experiments in the Puerto Rican jungles.
"Combining five years of careful investigation (including information from eyewitness accounts, field research, and forensic analysis) with a close study of the creature’s cultural and folkloric significance, Radford’s book is the first to fully explore and try to solve the decades-old mystery of the chupacabra."
Click here for the author's website.
Benjamin Radford is managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and a Research Fellow with the nonprofit educational organization the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. The author of five books and hundreds of articles, he is a regular columnist for Discovery News and LiveScience.com. He lives in Corrales, New Mexico.
New Spanish language imprint
There's a Q&A with the Editorial Director of Penguin's new C.A. Press on Marcela Landres's website. Go here to learn more about the challenges and opportunities in Spanish language publishing in the U.S., as explained by Erik Riesenberg.