Monday, June 06, 2005

Spotlight on María Amparo Escandón

Monday’s post from Daniel Olivas

María Amparo Escandón is the author of the best-selling novel, Esperanza's Box of Saints (Simon & Schuster, 1999), and its Spanish version, Santitos (Bantam Doubleday Dell, 2002). Both Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times named her the “Writer to Watch” in 1999 and 2000, respectively. María also wrote the screenplay Santitos, which was produced by John Sayles and directed by Alejandro Springall in Mexico. Her new book, Gonzalez and Daughter Trucking Co.: A Road Novel with Literary License, was released by Three Rivers Press in April. She is an advisor at the Sundance Screenwriters Labs, the Fundación Contenidos de Creación Creative Writing Workshops and the Latino Screenwriters Lab. María also teaches fiction writing at UCLA Extension.

NOTICIAS: HarperCollins/Rayo recently released the paperback edition of Michael Jaime-Becerra’s Every Night Is Ladies' Night: Stories. I reviewed this wonderful, evocative collection for Southwest BookViews last year. ◘ A must read is Chicano Sketches by the late Mario Suárez, edited by Francisco A. Lomelí, Cecilia Cota-Robles Suárez and Juan José Casillas-Núñez (University of Arizona Press, 2004). This short-story collection is an invaluable contribution to the study of Chicano fiction; read my review in Southwest BookViews. ◘ Gina MarySol Ruiz’s literary blog, AmoxCalli, posts insightful book reviews on a regular basis. ◘ Check out the June issue of Somos Primos, the site dedicated to “Hispanic heritage and diversity issues” edited by Mimi Lozano.

GLOSSY FOR US: The editors of the new Tu Ciudad Magazine Los Angeles describe their creation as follows: “This magazine will look at Los Angeles through a Latino prism, exploring the duality of bicultural life in a city that morphs into something different on a daily basis.”

AUTHOR’S QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I think the magic of fiction is that in many ways it's more true than non-fiction. By that I mean that fiction can take you into truths of feeling and it lends itself better to the kind of trance that allows a reader to smell and taste the world I'm trying to evoke.” —Luis Alberto Urrea discussing his new book, The Hummingbird's Daughter (Little, Brown), and his decision to render the life of his aunt Teresita as a novel rather than biography. Read the entire Urrea interview on The Elegant Variation here. MÁS NOTICIAS SOBRE URREA: Felicidades to Luis because The Hummingbird’s Daughter just made the Los Angeles Times’ bestsellers list for hardcover books sold in Southern California (number 10 out of 15 books listed).

LIBRERÍAS: Splashes of Color is a non-profit bookstore in Sylmar specializing in multicultural and bilingual books for children ages 4-18 years of age. They also carry some parenting literature to help with certain issues that might arise within the families. ◘ Flor y Canto is a not-for-profit community center and radical bookstore run entirely by volunteers and which is intended to create a social space that promotes the self-development and self-sufficiency of the diverse, multi-ethnic community of North East L.A.

OVER THE TRANSOM: I’m so lucky! Because I review, I get beautiful FREE books in the mail. I just received two poetry collections: Furia (Milkweed Editions) by Orlando Ricardo Menes, and Pity the Drowned Horses (University of Notre Dame Press) by Sheryl Luna. My review of Luna's collection just went live on LatinoLA. More to come on the Menes collection.

THE PLAY’S THE THING: The Latino Theatre Company, located in downtown Los Angeles, is committed to creating and producing passionate, truthful and professional world-class theater by developing and producing new Latino plays and playwrights that examine in bold contemporary terms, the Latino/a experience in the United States. Visit the theatre online for upcoming productions and opportunities.

All done. Until next Monday, enjoy the intervening posts from my compadres at La Bloga. ¡Lea un libro!


Manuel Ramos said...
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Manuel Ramos said...

Lots of good stuff, Daniel. For now, just one point: I also reviewed Becerra's excellent collection of short stories, here on La Bloga back in March. Here's a link to the archives:
(March 12)

Glad to hear that Every Night is Ladies Night is now in paperback - these stories deserve more affordable access to many more readers.

daniel olivas said...

thank you and i'll check out your review. i've gotten to know jaime...he's a very low key, gracious guy.