Monday, November 14, 2005


Monday’s post from Daniel Olivas

Nina Marie Martínez was born in San José, California to a first generation Mexican-American father, and an American mother of Germanic descent. A high school dropout, she possesses a Bachelors degree in literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She is the author of the widely-acclaimed novel, Caramba!: A Tale Told in Turns of the Card (Knopf, 2004).

An avid baseball fan, her first great ambition was to be the play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco Giants. Since she hasn’t completely lost hope in the possibility of, at the very least, being a baseball commentator, she intends to attend scout school in the Dominican Republic as soon as is humanely possible (which probably won’t be for a few years). Her favorite ballplayer is the Dominican sensation Vladimir Guerrero whom she considers the only bona fide five tool player in the game.

In addition to writing novels, she is also a vintage clothes enthusiast and dealer. For shoes, her favorite eras are the 1940s and the 1980s, which saw the rise of pinup girl platform shoes and electric color pumps, respectively. Cashmere cardigans from the 1950s are also part of her everyday wardrobe, and while she believes it is fine to wear fur as long as it is vintage, she is strictly against new fur on the basis of cruelty. She currently resides in Northern California where she is at work on her second novel.

NUEVOS LIBROS: Rigoberto González reviews Angie Cruz’s new novel, Let It Rain Coffee (Simon & Schuster). He says: “In a mature follow-up to her debut novel Soledad, Angie Cruz continues to explore Dominicans with one foot firmly planted in New York, the other reaching for her beloved Caribbean nation.” González is an award-winning writer and associate professor of English and Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Sergio Troncoso reviews Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juarez: 1893-1923 (Cinco Puntos Press) by David Dorado Romo. Says Troncoso: “Romo's meticulously researched and well-written book gives us the past we knew was there, the past we experienced, in our neighborhoods and in our families, and yet a past that is rarely the subject of history books, until today.” Troncoso, a native of Ysleta, is an award-winning author. You may visit his Web site at, or send him an e-mail at

THE QUETZAL QUILL: Monday, November 21, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Imix Bookstore will sponsor an evening of entertainment and literature by hosting The Quetzal Quill, a national collective of poets and writers on a mission to promote and share their literary works.

The guest writers are:

Gabrielle Calvocoressi, author of "The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart," is a former Jones Lecturer at Stanford. She has received the Rona Jaffe Women Writers' Award and the Bernard F. Cooper Prize from The Paris Review.

Reyna Grande is the author of the forthcoming novel, "Across A Hundred Mountains." She was born in Mexico, educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and currently lives in LA, working on her second novel.

Miguel Murphy, author of "A Book Called Rats," winner of the Blue Lynx Prize, is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he received the Swarthout Award and the University Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

Daniel A. Olivas is the author of four books, most recently the story collection "Devil Talk" and the children's book "Benjamin and the Word." He is a Los Angeles based attorney with the California Department of Justice.

Your Host: Rigoberto González. González, founder and curator of The Quetzal Quill, is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and professor of English and Latina/o Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of four books, most recently the bilingual children's book, "Antonio's Card."

The authors' books will be available for sale.

Venue: Imix Bookstore
Address: 5052 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles,90041
Ages: All ages
Admission: Free!
For more information call: 323-257-2512
Or visit:

NEW ISSUE: In the new issue of Tertulia Magazine, there are many items of interest. There’s a discussion with María Amparo Escandón, a review of Escandón’s novel, Gonzalez and Daughter Trucking Co. (Three Rivers Press), by Bernardo Salinas, and fiction by Juan Carlos Reyes.

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


msedano said...

i enjoyed caramba earlier this year. it starts out on an ominous note, the girlfriend calls up "i just killed a man" and i think, uuh, a murder mystery with echoes of thelma & louise. not at all, a comedy about cucui, fear of flying (not that one), and insight into young women. almost has the tone of loving pedro infante, but not as tightly drawn. but then, that's her first novel, que no?

looking forward to her next piece, hopefully another wild tale with a soupçon of the ribald.

Manuel Ramos said...

Caramba is a favorite in our house - we (my wife started it) recommend it to everyone who asks for a recommendation. And now I know something about the author - thanks.

daniel olivas said...

i got to chat with her at the author's table program. she was there with her 16 yr. old daughter. her next novel is due next year.

Gina MarySol Ruiz said...

Great post! Wish I could be there at the bookstore to say hi, but ni modo - will be back home on my birthday December 1st. I haven't read Caramba yet but it's just moved high up on my gotta get to it list/stack of books.