Friday, January 11, 2013

New Short Story Collections - Historic Chicana/o Artist Exhibit

New Short Stories

Presenting a handful of recent or soon to be published short story collections by established and emerging writers. If you like the short form, these books are meant for you.

Hotel Juárez: Stories, Rooms and Loops
Daniel Chacón
Arte Público Press - March 30, 2013

[from the publisher]

A collection of short fiction that is rooted in the author's home of El Paso, Texas, and its sister city across the border, Ciudad Juárez

In this collection of short and flash fiction, Daniel Chacón examines peoples’ interactions with each other, the impact of identity and the importance of literature, art and music.  In one story, a girl remembers her father, who taught her to love books and libraries. “A book can whisper at you, call at you from the shelves. Sometimes a book can find you. Seek you out and ask you to come and play,” he told her. Years later, she finds herself pulling an assortment from the shelves, randomly reading passages from different books and entering into the landscapes as if each book were a wormhole. Somehow one excerpt seems to be a continuation of another, connecting in the way that birds do when they fly from a tree to the roof of a house, making “an idea, a connection, a tree-house.”

Misconceptions about people, the responsibility of the artist and conflicts about identity pepper these stories that take place in the U.S. and abroad. In “Mais, Je Suis Chicano,” a Mexican American living in Paris identifies himself as Chicano, rather than American. “It’s not my fault I was born on the U.S. side of the border,” he tells a French Moroccan woman when she discovers that he really is American, a word she says “as if it could be replaced with murderer or child molester.”

Many of the stories are very short and contain images that flash in the reader’s mind, loop back and connect to earlier ones. Other stories are longer, like rooms, into which Chacón invites the reader to enter, look around and hang out. And some are more traditional. But whether short or long, conventional or experimental, the people in these pieces confront issues of imagination and self. In “Sábado Gigante,” a young boy who is “as big as a gorilla” must face his best friend’s disappointment that—in spite of his size—he’s a terrible athlete, and even more confounding, he prefers playing dolls to baseball. Whether in Paris or Ciudad Juárez, Chacón reveals his characters at their most vulnerable in these powerful and rewarding stories, anti-stories and loops.

Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories
Sherman Alexie
Grove Press - October, 2012

[from the publisher]

Sherman Alexie’s stature as a writer of stories, poetry, and novels has soared over the course of his twenty-book, twenty-year career. His wide-ranging, acclaimed fiction throughout the last two decades, from The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven to his most recent PEN/Faulkner Award–winning War Dances, have established him as a star in contemporary American literature.

A bold and irreverent observer of life among Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, the daring, versatile, funny, and outrageous Alexie show­cases his many talents in Blasphemy, where he unites fifteen beloved classics with fifteen new stories in one sweeping anthology for devoted fans and first-time readers. Included here are some of his most esteemed tales, including “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” in which a homeless Indian man quests to win back a family heirloom; “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” a road-trip morality tale; “The Toughest Indian in the World,” about a night shared between a writer and a hitchhiker; and his most recent, “War Dances,” about a man grappling with sudden hearing loss in the wake of his father’s death. Alexie’s new stories are fresh and quintessential, about donkey basket­ball leagues, lethal wind turbines, a twenty-four hour Asian manicure salon, good and bad marriages, and all species of warriors in America today.

An indispensable Alexie collection, Blasphemy reminds us, on every thrill­ing page, why he is one of our greatest contemporary writers and a true master of the short story.

The Doctor's Wife
Luis Jaramillo
Dzanc Press - November, 2012                                               

[from the publisher]

Winner of the Dzanc Short Story Collection Contest, The Doctor’s Wife pushes the limits of what a short story collection can be. In stylish, intimate, and devastating short flashes, Luis Jaramillo chronicles the small domestic moments, tragic losses, and cultural upheavals faced by three generations of a family in the Pacific Northwest, creating a moving portrait of an American family and the remarkable woman at its center.


"I read Luis Jaramillo’s beautiful collection in one sitting. This is a ravishing book. I loved every word. It should be required reading for everyone." —Abigail Thomas

"The Doctor’s Wife is like the runaway child of Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust—Luis Jaramillo’s acerbic wit and satire are rare finds in America. Pick this up at once." —Alexander Chee

"The Doctor's Wife is story-writing at its best; lean, even epigrammatic, each of these stories offers a beautifully realized insight into the life of three generations of a family in the Pacific Northwest." —Scott Turow

"The Doctor's Wife holds great promise indeed." —David Abrams, The Quivering Pen

Mundo Cruel
Luis Negrón, translated by Suzanne Jill Levine
Seven Stories Press - February 26, 2013

[from the publisher]

Luis Negrón’s debut collection reveals the intimate world of a small community in Puerto Rico joined together by its transgressive sexuality. The writing straddles the shifting line between pure, unadorned storytelling and satire, exploring the sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking nature of survival in a decidedly cruel world.

“Negrón is perhaps the most intimate and unsuspected heir to Manuel Puig.”
Antonio Morato, author of Lima y Limón

“These nine stories are rude, beautiful, funny, tender, sarcastic but, above all, human.”
Guillermo Barquero, Sentencias inútiles

“Like a cross between Manuel Puig and Luis Rafael Sánchez, the author of these stories shows us the tenderness, the love, and the bravery of those who decide to embrace their identity, whatever it happens to be.”
Margarita Pintado Burgos, Desvalijadas
LUIS NEGRÓN was born in the city of Guayama, Puerto Rico, in 1970. He is co-editor of Los otros cuerpos, an anthology of queer writing from Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican diaspora. The original Spanish language edition of Mundo Cruel, first published in Puerto Rico in 2010 by La Secta de Los Perros, then by Libros AC in subsequent editions, is now in its third printing. It has never before appeared in English Negrón lives in Santurce, Puerto Rico.

SUZANNE JILL LEVINE's many translations include the works of Guillermo Cabrera Infante and Manuel Puig. She is the editor of the Penguin Classics Jorge Luis Borges series and author of The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction. She is winner of the 2012 the PEN Center USA Literary Award for her translation of José Donoso’s The Lizard’s Tale.

Legacy Project at Museo de las Americas

This should be a great exhibit. Several excellent artists (even a few legends in the bunch), and a commemoration of two people, Luis and Martha Abarca, who encouraged, preserved, and actively furthered the cause of Latino art in the Denver community.

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