Friday, September 02, 2016

Yes - More New Books

Writers keep writing, publishers keep publishing.  Let's hope readers keep reading.  This week, a few new books due later this year and on into 2017, including the exciting news that Tim Z. Hernandez's much-anticipated look at the plane wreck at Los Gatos will hit the shelves in January.  Tim is establishing himself as a writer of impressive prose (he's already a poetry phenom) who deals with the full scope of human drama from intimate personal details of daily life to universal truths, all  skillfully revealed in finely crafted stories.

All They Will Call You
Tim Z. Hernandez 
University of Arizona Press - January, 2017

[from the publisher]
Intimate portraits of the lives and loss that inspired the enduring folk song

All They Will Call You is the harrowing account of “the worst airplane disaster in California’s history,” which claimed the lives of thirty-two passengers, including twenty-eight Mexican citizens—farmworkers who were being deported by the U.S. government. Outraged that media reports omitted only the names of the Mexican passengers, American folk icon Woody Guthrie penned a poem that went on to become one of the most important protest songs of the twentieth century, Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee). It was an attempt to restore the dignity of the anonymous lives whose unidentified remains were buried in an unmarked mass grave in California’s Central Valley. For nearly seven decades, the song’s message would be carried on by the greatest artists of our time, including Pete Seeger, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez, yet the question posed in Guthrie’s lyrics, “Who are these friends all scattered like dry leaves?” would remain unanswered—until now.

Combining years of painstaking investigative research and masterful storytelling, award-winning author Tim Z. Hernandez weaves a captivating narrative from testimony, historical records, and eyewitness accounts, reconstructing the incident and the lives behind the legendary song. This singularly original account pushes narrative boundaries, while challenging perceptions of what it means to be an immigrant in America, but more importantly, it renders intimate portraits of the individual souls who, despite social status, race, or nationality, shared a common fate one frigid morning in January 1948.

Tim Z.Hernandez was born and raised in California’s San Joaquin Valley. An award winning poet, novelist, and performer, he is the recipient of the American Book Award for poetry, the Colorado Book Award for poetry, the Premio Aztlán Prize for fiction, and the International Latino Book Award for historical fiction. His books and research have been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, CNN, Public Radio International, and National Public Radio. Hernandez holds a BA from Naropa University and an MFA from Bennington College. Hernandez makes his home in El Paso, where he is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at El Paso’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. You can find more information at his website,

The author posted this message about his new book:

Friends and supporters of All They Will Call You, we'll be rolling out a series of book trailers featuring portions of the documentary starting Labor Day, September 5. As you may know, this is the single subject that has consumed the past six years of my life, and I can't wait to share it with you all. An added bonus is that these feature the song I recorded with my homey Lance Canales.


For more on the story behind the story, here's a video of the Guthrie song performed by the one and only Johnny Cash and the often under-appreciated Johnny Rodriguez.  Take a listen.


Long Stories Cut Short
Frederick Luis Aldama, Foreword by Ana María Shua
University of Arizona Press - February, 2017

[from the publisher]
Art and bilingual prose illuminate hidden lives

Xbox videogamer cholo cyberpunks. Infants who read before they talk. Vatos locos, romancing abuelos, border crossers and border smugglers, transvestites, drug kingpins, Latina motorbike riders, philosophically musing tweens, and so much more. The stories in this dynamic bilingual prose-art collection touch on the universals of romance, family, migration and expulsion, and everyday life in all its zany configurations. Each glimpse into lives at every stage—from newborns and children to teens, young adults, and the elderly—further submerges readers in psychological ups and downs. In a world filled with racism, police brutality, poverty, and tensions between haves and have-nots, these flashes of fictional insight bring gleaming clarity to life lived where all sorts of borders meet and shift.

Frederick Luis Aldama and graphic artists from Mapache Studios give shape to ugly truths in the most honest way, creating new perceptions, thoughts, and feelings about life in the borderlands of the Américas. Each bilingual prose-art fictional snapshot offers an unsentimentally complex glimpse into what it means to exist at the margins of society today. These unflinching and often brutal fictions crisscross spiritual, emotional, and physical borders as they give voice to all those whom society chooses not to see.

Frederick Luis Aldama is the Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of English and University Distinguished Scholar at The Ohio State University. He is founder and director of LASER, a mentoring and research hub for Latinos, and the author, co-author, and editor of twenty-six books, including Your Brain on Latino Comics: From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez and The Cinema of Robert Rodriguez.


Zapata's Disciple: Essays
Martín Espada

Northwestern University Press - October, 2016

[from the publisher]
The ferocious acumen with which the award-winning poet Martín Espada attacks issues of social injustice in Zapata’s Disciple makes it no surprise that the book has been the subject of bans in both Arizona and Texas, targeted for its presence in the Mexican American Studies curriculum of Tucson’s schools and for its potential to incite a riot among Texas prison populations.

This new edition of Zapata’s Disciple, which won the 1999 Independent Publisher Book Award for Essay / Creative Nonfiction, opens with an introduction in which the author chronicles this history of censorship and continues his lifelong fight for freedom of expression. A dozen of Espada’s poems, tender and wry as they are powerful, interweave with essays that address the denigration of the Spanish language by American cultural arbiters, castigate Nike for the exploitation of its workers, reflect upon National Public Radio’s censorship of Espada’s poem about Mumia Abu-Jamal, and more. Zapata’s Disciple is a potent assault on the continued marginalization of Latinos and other poor and workingclass citizens in American society, and the collection breathes with a revolutionary zeal that is as relevant now as when it was first published.

Martín Espada, born in Brooklyn in 1957, has been called the Latino poet of his generation. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, as well as an editor, essayist, and translator. He is currently a professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.


Sky Below: Selected Works
Raúl Zurita

Translated from the Spanish and with an introduction by Anna Deeny Morales
Northwestern University Press - October, 2016

[from the publisher]
Chilean poet Raúl Zurita has long been recognized as one of the most celebrated and important voices from Latin America. His compelling rhythms combine epic and lyric tones, public and most intimate themes, grief and joy. This bilingual volume of selected works is the first of its kind in any language, representing the remarkable range of an extraordinary poet. Zurita’s work confronts the cataclysm of the Pinochet coup with a powerful urgency matched by remarkable craftsmanship and imaginative vision. In Zurita’s attempt to address the atrocities that indelibly mark Chile, he makes manifest the common history of the Americas.

Raúl Zurita, a prolific poet and visual artist, has chronicled the violence against the Chilean people since the 1973 coup that replaced Salvador Allende’s democratic government with Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship. His work has been widely translated. Along with other artists, he founded the art action group CADA (Colectivo de Acciones de Arte), dedicated to the creation of political art resisting the military regime. In 1982 he composed a poem in the sky over New York, and in 1993 he bulldozed “ni pena ni miedo” (“no pain no fear”) into the coarse sands of the Atacama Desert. Zurita has been awarded the Chilean National Prize for Literature and a scholarship from the Guggenheim Foundation. He is a professor emeritus at the Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago.

Anna Deeny Morales is a literary critic and translator. Her translations of Raúl Zurita’s works include Purgatory and Dreams for Kurosawa. Her translation of Floating Lanterns by Mercedes Roffé was published in 2015, and her essays and translations of poetry by Alejandra Pizarnik, Nicanor Parra, and Gabriela Mistral, among others, have appeared in such anthologies as Pinholes in the Night: Essential Poems from Latin America and in journals, including the Paris Review, Mandorla, BOMB, and the Harvard Review. She teaches in the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University.



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.

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