Friday, December 11, 2015

First-Generation Writing Award - - Texas Best -- Documentaries

First, a message from Restless Books -- 

Wanted: Brilliant Fiction by First-Generation Writers

Submissions for the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing close December 31st. Don't miss your chance to win $10,000 and have your book published by Restless!

Dear readers and writers:

With the ideological battles being fought over immigration and American identity at a fever pitch these days, we don't always hear some of the most important voices in the debate: the immigrants themselves. From the start, American identity has been shaped by immigrants, and in our opinion, it's that constantly evolving, kaleidoscopic patchwork that makes the country so vibrant and vital.

To foster continued understanding and conversation, we've inaugurated a literary prize to recognize the best writing by a new generation of immigrant writers, one that will help to shape the America of the future. The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing will award $10,000 and publication to a cutting-edge work of fiction by a first-time, first-generation American writer. Read on for more information, and please share and encourage your friends and colleagues to apply! 

The Prize: $10,000 and publication by Restless Books

Deadline: December 31, 2015

Application Fee: $0

Materials: A single, complete manuscript of fiction, in English (translations welcome)

Candidates: First-generation American residents who have not previously published a work of fiction with a US publishing house

Judges: Restless publisher Ilan Stavans, novelist Maaza Mengiste, and bookseller Javier Molea

To Apply: Visit the Restless Books website



Speaking of Ilan Stavans ... Nice article about the Amherst professor, writer, scholar, critic, etc., and his latest venture as publisher (Restless Books) in the Daily New Hampshire Gazette.  Online at this link.


Lone Star Literary Life (published weekly online and by digital subscription) has announced its

Top Ten Texas Fiction Favorites 2015

La Bloga takes special note of two of the books on the list:

[from Lone Star Literary Life website) 

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho tells the stories of the wealthy, privileged, cultured, and ambitious Arteaga family of Mexico City. He has an uncanny ear for the prattle of pampered children trying adulthood on for size and for conveying their sheltered lives. It turns out to also be the year of kidnappings when the patriarch fails to come home from the office one day – the year the blinders come off. This collection of linked short fiction follows the diminished fortunes of the children and grandchildren who are forced to flee the country for their own safety

Sex As a Political Condition: A Border Novel
Carlos Nicolás Flores
Texas Tech University Press

Sex As A Political Condition is the newest smartly designed title in Texas Tech University Press’s Americas series, and is professor and activist Carlos Nicolás Flores’s latest novel. Sex As a Political Condition is about history, family, politics, economics, friendship, and religion. Honoré del Castillo runs the family curio shop in the backwater border town of Escandón, Texas, and fears dying in front of his TV like some six-pack José in his barrio. Encouraged by his friend Trotsky, he becomes politically active—smuggling refugees, airlifting guns to Mexican revolutionaries, negotiating with radical Chicana lesbians—but the naked truths he faces are more often naked than true and constantly threaten to unman him. When a convoy loaded with humanitarian aid bound for Nicaragua pulls into Escandón, his journey to becoming a true revolutionary hero begins, first on Escandón’s international bridge and then on the highways of Mexico. But not until both the convoy and Honoré’s mortality and manhood are threatened in Guatemala does he finally confront the complications of his love for his wife and daughter, his political principles, the stench of human fear, and ultimately what it means to be a principled man in a screwed-up world. 

La Bloga's interview of Carlos Nicolás Flores can be found here.


New Documentaries From the PBS Series Independent Lens

East of Salinas (airing on December 28) is the story of a bright boy and his dedicated teacher — both sons of migrant farm workers. With parents who are busy working long hours in the fields, third grader José Ansaldo often turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, for guidance. But José was born in Mexico. And he's on the cusp of understanding what that means for his future. For José and many migrant children like him, the film poses the question: What is lost when promising kids are denied opportunities through no fault of their own? Produced and directed by Laura Pacheco and Jackie Mow.

Here's a preview:

No Mas Bebes (airing on January 25) tells the little known story of how a small group of Mexican immigrant mothers and activists sued county doctors, the state, and the U.S. government after they were sterilized while giving birth at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s and 1970s. Many of the mothers spoke no English, and charged that they had been forced to consent to having their fallopian tubes tied by doctors and nurses during the late stages of labor — often based on little more than the question “More babies?” The film is directed by Renee Tajima-Peña and produced by historian Virginia Espino.



I've got a new book scheduled for 2016.  I call it My Bad and it should be out in September from Arte Público Press. It's a follow-up to Desperado: A Mile High Noir and features those two wild and crazy guys Gus Corral and Luis Móntez.  Down and dirty with more Chicano noir.

I'm lining up several events for 2016 -- contact me if you're interested in a presentation at your school, library, book club, book store or happy hour.


1 comment:

Fallopian Tube Blockage said...

This is such raw and honest post. I liked the video. Thank you so much for sharing.