Sunday, April 26, 2015

Four La Bloga Writers Are Finalists for The International Latino Book Awards!

La Bloga writers represent!  Four of our Bloguistas, whose books have been published in 2014, have been recently named "finalists."  Now in its 16th year, the International Latino Book Awards were founded by Latino Literacy Now in partnership with Las Comadres para Las Americas, and the Instituto Cervantes.  Over a thousand books have been honored since its inception.  The awards, already the largest latino book award in the USA, celebrates achievements in Latino literature.  These awards are leading a wave of cultural and economic development within the Latino community (from the International Latino Book Award Website).

Today, it's a pleasure to list our finalists with descriptions of their books.  They are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Xánath Caraza, René Colato Laínez, Lydia Gil, and Daniel A. Olivas. Felicidades to all of you!

Xánath Caraza
Finalist, Poetry:  

Syllables of Wind/Sílabas de Viento
Description:  Argentine poet, Carlos J. Aldazábal describes Xánath Caraza’s new collection of poetry as “a type of invocation, a kind of silent mantra.”  With her gaze wandering across the land, the poet projects her sensitivity so as to celebrate or lament, to depart or return, in a cultural pendulum that allows her to express what we all have in common as human beings, the great themes of poetry (death, love, life) from her American and indigenous particularity” (Introduction).  

Caraza’s poetry reveals Mexican, Indigenous, African roots while also claiming a North American Midwest identity.  Her work underlines our literary transnational roots.   

Xánath Caraza reading from her book in Topeka, Kansas

René Colato Laínez:  Finalist, Children's Literature

Author René Colato Laínez
Description:  Carlos is not sure that football can be played with an oval-shaped ball.  Chris is not sure that it can be played with a round ball.  It may not be a good idea to play with a kid who is so different.  He doesn’t even know how to play this game!  Wait.  It looks kind of fun…Let’s give it a try!  Enjoy and celebrate the encounter of two cultures through their favorite sports!

Lydia Gil: Finalist, Children's Literature:  

Author Lydia Gil with students
Description:  Celeste is heartbroken when her grandmother dies.  But everything changes when a letter mysteriously comes in the mail—from grandma!  As letters continue to arrive from the beyond, each with a recipe from a favorite food her grandmother used to prepare, Celeste consoles herself by learning how to cook the dishes. 

Published in bilingual “flip” format by Arte Público Press, this middle grade novel celebrates the cultural traditions of the Spanish Caribbean, while tackling challenging subjects, such as trouble with friends and the death of a grandparent.  The book includes six traditional Cuban recipes with easy-to-follow instructions. 

Author Lydia Gil

Author, Daniel A. Olivas
Daniel A. Olivas
Finalist, Non-Fiction:  

Description:  In this candid and wide-ranging collection of personal essays and interviews, award-winning author, Daniel A. Olivas explores Latina/o literature at the dawn of the twenty-first 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?  Can literature affect political discourse and our daily lives? 
Olivas explores similar questions through almost a decade's worth of interviews with Latina/o authors. Dr. Frederick Aldama writes: "Wide-ranging, and yet laser-focused, Olivas gives us a total portrait of Latina/o letters today."  


msedano said...

Felicidades and congratulations, too. Winners all!

Melinda Palacio said...

I am honored to be a part of La Bloga. Congratulations!

Xánath Caraza said...

I'm with you Melinda, I am honored to be part of La Bloga! Congratulations La Bloga Writers! Gracias Amelia!

Wayne Rapp said...

What wonderful news for all of you and for all of us, writers who support your fine work. Congratulations!

Daniel Olivas said...

¡Gracias! This means a lot. ¡Ajua!

Rene Colato Lainez said...

¡Viva La Bloga! Congratulations and I honored too to be part of this amazing blog.