Friday, February 01, 2008

Flowers, Books, Poetry and Laughs for the Month of Romance


Good news that Dagoberto Gilb's second novel, The Flowers (Grove Press), is set to hit the book shelves this month. Here's the publisher's blurb about a book that is already getting high praise:

"Sonny Bravo is a tender, unusually smart fifteen-year-old who is living with his vivacious mother in a large city where intense prejudice is not just white against black, but also brown. When Sonny’s mother, Silvia, suddenly marries an Okie building contractor named Cloyd Longpre, they are uprooted to a small apartment building, Los Flores. As Sonny sweeps its sidewalks, he meets his neighbors and becomes ensnared in their lives: Cindy, an eighteen-year-old druggie who is married and bored; Nica, a cloistered Mexican girl who cares for her infant brother but who is never allowed to leave their unit. The other tenants range from Pink, an albino black man who sells old cars in front of the building, to Bud, a muscled-up construction worker who hates blacks and Mexicans, even while he’s married to a Mexican-American woman.

"The Flowers is about breaking rules. Dagoberto Gilb, in arguably his most powerful work yet, has written an inspiring novel about hate, pain, anger, and love that transcends age, race, and time. Gilb’s novel displays the fearlessness and wit that have helped make him one of this country’s most authentic and original voices."

How about this for an intriguing quote about the book: "But for the fact that he lacks a younger sister and an older brother, has never attended prep school, or ventured within 2,000 miles of Radio City Music Hall, and comes from a working-class Mexican background, Sonny Bravo could be Holden Caulfield." Stephen G. Kellman in the Texas Observer.


This is the first comedy night of 2008 to support the CHIC CHICANA SCHOLARSHIP Program.

With the 2008 Chic Chicana Class the program will have graduated 900 students.

Visit the website at

In honor of Valentine's Day, the Tattered Cover staff came up with a list of favorite romantic reads. One of these books teamed up with a rose and a cup of hot chocolate might just be the perfect li'l sumpin' sumpin' for a cold and wintry Valentine's Day.

Gods Behaving Badly, Marie Phillips

Loving Frank, Nancy Horan

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon

Gaudy Night, Dorothy Sayers

Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare

An Equal Music, Vikram Seth

A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway

The Lover, Marguerite Duras

Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak

Cannery Row, John Steinbeck

Silk, Allesandro Baricco

The Bad Girl, Mario Vargas Llosa

The Passion, Jeanette Winterson

The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje

Like Water For Chocolate, Laura Esquivel

Time Enough for Love, Robert Heinlein

Twilight, Stephenie Meyer

Somewhere in Time, Richard Matheson

Is it time for Yeats yet?

I want to offer belated congratulations to two friends of La Bloga who received a 2007 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation : Rigoberto Gonzalez and Reyna Grande. The announcement of these awards included the following:

"The American Book Awards, established in 1978 by the Before Columbus Foundation, recognize outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America's diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works. There are no quotas for diversity, the winners list simply reflects it as a natural process. The Before Columbus Foundation views American culture as inclusive and has always considered the term multicultural to be not a description of various categories, groups, or special interests, but rather as the definition of all of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry organization, but rather are a writers’ award given by other writers."

The winners are an impressive list:

2007 Daniel Cassidy, How The Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads
(CounterPunch/AK Press)
Michael Eric Dyson, Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster
(Basic Books)
Rigoberto Gonzalez, Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (University of Wisconsin Press)
Reyna Grande, Across a Hundred Mountains (Washington Square Press)
Ernestine Hayes, Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir (University of Arizona Press)
Patricia Klindienst, The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americans (Beacon Press)
Gary Panter, Jimbo's Inferno (Fantagraphics Books)
Jeffrey F.L. Partridge, Beyond Literary Chinatown (University of Washington Press)
Judith Roche, Wisdom of the Body (Black Heron Press)
Kali Vanbaale, The Space Between (River City Publishing)"


A reading of more than twenty-five Latino/a poets from New York City and around the country. Scheduled readers include Martín Espada, Sandra María Esteves, Rafael Campo, Aracelis Girmay, Willie Perdomo, Brenda Cárdenas, and more.

Presented by El Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños and Acentos Bronx Poetry Showcase.

The School of Social Work at Hunter College
129 E. 79th Street, NYC



Francisco Aragón said...

The reading sponsored by ACENTOS took place. All it promised to be, and more: historic.

raul said...

i've already read gilb's new book. it is impossible to put down! loved it, love this man's work and presence in our scene, making us better, saying what doesn't get said.