For the dog days, two new books from Akashic, a Denver invite to workshop your poem-in-progress, and you can eavesdrop while the artist Gronk riffs with East L.A. poet/artist Marisela Norte at L.A.'s Craft and Folk Art Museum.
San Juan Noir
Edited by Mayra Santos-Febres
Translated by Will Vanderhyden
Akashic Books - October
[from the publisher]
Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.
Brand-new stories by: Wilfredo J. Burgos Matos, Ernesto Quiñonez, Mayra Santos-Febres, José Rabelo, Luis Negrón, Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro, Ana María Fuster Lavín, Janette Becerra, Manolo Núñez Negrón, Tere Dávila, Edmaris Carazo, Alejandro Álvarez Nieves, Charlie Vázquez, and Manuel A. Meléndez.
From the introduction by Mayra Santos-Febres:
“Puerto Rico is often portrayed as sandy beaches, casinos, luxury hotels, relaxation, and never-ending pleasure—a place that satisfies all senses and appetites.
Yet the city of San Juan is much more than that. The capital of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is the oldest Spanish settlement in all the territories and colonies of the United States. Since Puerto Rico is economically dependent on the US, the financial downturn of 2008 hit us hard. Many Puerto Ricans have left the island, looking for a better life. Crime has risen and the black market has thrived. As in many crises, art, music, and literature have also flourished. Never before has there been so much literary production. We have responded to our crisis with many stories to tell. And, especially in these times, many of those stories are noir . . .
I hope these stories spark your imagination, and reveal a side of Puerto Rico otherwise obscured by the tourist trade and preconceptions. Maybe it will also pique your curiosity, and you will come visit our ‘pearl of the Caribbean.'”
Akashic Books - October
(reissue from Akashic along with other Nunez books)
[from the publisher]
Set amongst the struggles of American, Caribbean, and African diplomacy in the late 1980s, Discretion follows the harrowing journey of Oufoula Sindede, a diplomat of rough beginnings, who discovers his desires may be out of his control.
Dutifully married to lovely Nerida, Oufoula goes through the motions of marriage, formally keeping his distance from the woman with whom he shares his bed. And yet there is a deeper, buried passion within him that will lead him to question which values he holds sacred and which can be sacrificed.
Despite his quiet marriage, the memory of a fiery love affair triggers Oufoula to entangle himself in the life of another woman, a Jamaican-born painter named Marguerite. Soon he discovers that Marguerite is nothing like any of his quick old flames or his gentle wife, Nerida—Marguerite is much more.
And so begins a whirlwind affair, spanning over twenty years, between a young woman who wants order and love and a man who is torn between the honors of his profession and his dishonorable love life; the old African customs of polygamy and the American dream; and the passion for a mistress and the duty to his wife.
Nunez’s heartbreaking fourth novel questions the customs we think we know with the truth that comes from passion and love. Wrought with tragedy and uncontrollable infatuation, Discretion will make you wonder if affection is worth affliction.
Elizabeth Nunez is the award-winning author of nine novels—including Boundaries, Anna In-Between, Even in Paradise, Grace, Discretion, and Prospero’s Daughter—and a memoir, Not for Everyday Use. Both Boundaries and Anna In-Between were New York Times Editors’ Choices. Anna In-Between won the 2010 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award and was long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Nunez also received the American Book Award for Bruised Hibiscus, the 2011 Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers and Barnes & Noble, and a NALIS Lifetime Literary Award from the Trinidad & Tobago National Library. She is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, CUNY, where she teaches fiction writing. She divides her time between Amityville and Brooklyn, New York.
Manuel Ramos is the author of several novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction books and articles. His collection of short stories, The Skull of Pancho Villa and Other Stories, was a finalist for the 2016 Colorado Book Award. My Bad: A Mile High Noir is scheduled for publication by Arte Público Press in September, 2016.