Monday, February 23, 2009

¡New Urrea Novel Coming this May!

Into the Beautiful North (Little, Brown)
By Luis Alberto Urrea
Hardcover, 352 pp., $24.99

From the publisher: Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over. Filled with unforgettable characters and prose as radiant as the Sinaloan sun, Into the Beautiful North is the story of an irresistible young woman's quest to find herself on both sides of the fence.

Well, the buzz is already beginning for Urrea’s new novel. Library Journal says that “…Urrea rises to the occasion with a surprising, inventive, and very funny novel populated by an array of quirky characters. His fast-paced, accessible style has the crossover appeal of a John Steinbeck or Cormac McCarthy, while the politically charged undercurrent of the novel pulses with a compassionate vision of the future. Highly recommended."

What? Steinbeck? McCarthy? Are we surprised? ¡No! To check out Urrea's book news and book tour schedule, visit his website.

◙ On February 14, I moderated a panel at the AWP Annual Conference & Bookfair in Chicago at the Hilton on South Michigan Avenue. The panel was on the book I edited, Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature (Bilingual Press, 2008) which, as you might know, brings together 60 years of Los Angeles fiction by 34 Latino/a writers. The panel included Kathleen Alcalá and Michael Jaime-Becerra (first picture below), and Manuel Muñoz and Estella González (second picture). We then did a book signing at the Bilingual Press table which was a terrific success on many levels: yes we sold many books but we also got to mingle with wonderful folks. Many thanks to the panelists, those who attended, Bilingual Press and, of course, Linda St. George (third picture below) who kept things running smoothly at the Bilingual Press table (remaining pictures). If anyone has photos and/or reports to share regarding the AWP conference, please drop me a line at
◙ From LatinoLA:

Times are tough: salary cuts, layoffs, growing unemployment, etc. Jobs are scarce and it's getting a little scary out there for some of us. Unfortunately, there are no openings at LatinoLA (I haven't gotten paid in years!) but we can help. We offer free job listings on our Careers section. Employers, including private businesses, non-profits and government agencies, can list their job openings (full- and part-time, temporary gigs, freelance) absolutely free of charge. Just go to our story submittal page here and complete the form. All we ask is that you let us know when the job is filled so that we could take it off the site. We'll be doing this for the time being while we build a partnership with a more robust job listing website. But until then, feel free to list your job opening. And if you're looking for work, we hope that you find that perfect position on LatinoLA. Hasta la proxima, Abelardo, el editor.

◙ Homeboy Press and its literary magazine, The Homeboy Review, serve as a voice for the poets and writers of Homeboy Industries, as well as a forum to publish both under-represented and established writers from around the globe. Begun as a writing program in Homeboy’s curriculum classes, the Homeboy Press was created to teach contemporary computer skills, including typesetting, desk-top publishing, web design and computer graphics to its clients, as well as to create an open, creative forum for global literary and art publishing by new and established writers and artists. Now Accepting Submissions: Homeboy Press is now accepting short fiction, poetry and essays for its inaugural literary magazine, The Homeboy Review. Please click on submission guidelines for more information.

◙ I apologize for the shorter than usual post but I'm going through a major job change and still recovering from AWP in Chicago. So, in the meantime, enjoy the intervening posts from mis compadres y comadres here on La Bloga. And remember: ¡Lea un libro!

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