$21 • paperback • 202 pp.
Now available for purchase here.
In this candid and wide-ranging collection of personal essays and interviews published by San Diego State University Press, award-winning author Daniel A. Olivas explores Latino/a literature at the dawn of the 21st century.
While his essays address a broad spectrum of topics from the Mexican-American experience to the Holocaust, Olivas always returns to and wrestles with queries that have no easy answers: How does his identity as a Chicano reflect itself through his writing? What issues and subjects are worth exploring? How do readers react to the final results? Can literature affect political discourse and our daily lives?
Olivas has explored similar questions through almost a decade’s worth of interviews with Latino/a authors that have appeared in various online literary publications. While professors and students alike have already relied upon many of the interviews as source material for scholarly examination, twenty-eight of these incisive and frank dialogues are now collected in one volume for the first time. Olivas dives deep to discover how these authors create prose and poetry while juggling families, facing bigotry, struggling with writer’s block, and deciphering a fickle publishing industry. This roster of interview subjects is a who’s who of contemporary Latino/a literature:
Aaron A. Abeyta • Daniel Alarcón • Francisco Aragón • Gustavo Arellano
Gregg Barrios • Richard Blanco • Margo Candela • Susana Chávez-Silverman
Sandra Cisneros • Carlos E. Cortés • Carmen Giménez Smith • Ray González
Rigoberto González • Octavio González • Reyna Grande • Myriam Gurba
Rubén Martínez • Michael Luis Medrano • Aaron Michael Morales • Manuel Muñoz
Salvador Plascencia • Sam Quinones • Ilan Stavans • Héctor Tobar
Justin Torres • Sergio Troncoso • Luis Alberto Urrea • Helena María Viramontes
Things We Do Not Talk About will undoubtedly become a natural companion to the study and enjoyment of contemporary Latino/a literature. Cover artwork is by Perry Vasquez.
PRAISE FOR THINGS WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT:
“Many of the subjects that Olivas addresses in this book are important to current conversations about Latino literature, especially among students and writers. And not just Latinos — conversations about using multiple languages and Latino literary traditions like magical realism require more sophistication. Olivas’s Things We Do Not Talk About can be a useful tool to incite any reader into deeper thought not only about these subjects, but also about questions of authority and responsibility. These can be complicated topics, but Olivas leaves plenty of room for your own nuanced answers.” –Carribean Fragoza, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Olivas’s penetrating meditations on all facets of the life of Latino fiction writing, including his own as a Latino lawyer eking out a living in the global conundrum of LA—dazzle! His cornucopia of incisive interviews with many of our great contemporary Latino/a poets, novelists, short story, and non-fiction authors—astound! Wide ranging and yet laser focused, Olivas gives us the total portrait of Latino/a letters today.” —Frederick Luis Aldama, Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of English at The Ohio State University and author of The Routledge Concise History of Latino/a Literature
“With passion and earnestness Daniel Olivas reveals that the preoccupations of the contemporary Chicana/o writer are vast and complex. Most Chicanas/os and Latinas/os would attest to this, of course, but how often do we see this range in published form? Through personal essays and probing interviews, Olivas tackles not only the craft of writing but also its Moral implications. We are lucky to have such a generous author in our midst.” —Maceo Montoya, author of The Deportation of Wopper Barraza
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