Friday, March 22, 2013

News and Newsworthy

Manuel Ramos

Anaya, Sandoval, Alegría, Lorca, Los Lobos, Velásquez, and ... (wait for it) ... Gus Corral. 

New Books

The Old Man's Love Story
Rudolfo Anaya
University of Oklahoma Press - April, 2013
Volume 12 in Chicana and Chicano Visions of the Americas series

[from the publisher]
A deeply personal tale of love and loss

“There was an old man who dwelt in the land of New Mexico, and he lost his wife.” From that opening line, this tender novella is at once universal and deeply personal. The nameless narrator, a writer, shares his most intimate thoughts about his wife, their life together, and her death. But just as death is inseparable from life, his wife seems still to be with him. Her memory and words permeate his days. In The Old Man’s Love Story, master storyteller Rudolfo Anaya crafts the tale of a lifelong love that ultimately transcends death.

An elegy not just for the dead but for the vitality of youth, the old man’s story captures both the heartaches and ironies of old age. We follow him as he proceeds through days of grief and memory, buying his few groceries, driving slower than the other travelers on the road. He talks with his wife along the way. “Go slow,” he hears her admonish. As he sits in the garden with their dogs, he senses her worry over his loneliness. A year passes. He longs to care for someone, but—to love again?

Like characters in Anaya’s previous fiction, the old man lives in a real New Mexico, but one inhabited by spirits. Death provides a gateway to other worlds, just as memories connect him to other times and places. When he eventually begins a new friendship with a woman, a widow, they share a bittersweet understanding of joy mixed with sorrow, promise mixed with loss.

Anaya’s reflections, as shared through the experiences of this old man, point to the power and importance of love at every stage of life. Lyrical and earthy, sad yet suffused with humor, The Old Man’s Love Story will speak to all readers, perhaps especially to those who have suffered a recent loss.

The Witches of Ruidoso
John Sandoval
Arte Público Press - April, 2013

[from the publisher]  
A mystical, coming-of-age novel for young adults that's set in a time and place long gone

Young Elijah was sitting on the porch of the Ruidoso Store when fourteen-year-old Beth Delilah and her father climbed down from the stage coach. Blond with lovely pale skin, big blue eyes and “dressed from boot to bonnet in black” in mourning for her mother, she was the prettiest, most exotic thing he had ever seen. And when she bent over to pick up a horned toad, which she then held right up to her face in complete fascination, Elijah learned that it’s possible to feel jealous of an amphibian.

In the last years of the nineteenth century, in the western territory that would become New Mexico, the two young people become constant companions. They roam the ancient country of mysterious terrain, where the mountain looms and reminds them of their insignificance, and observe the eccentric characters in the village: Mr. Blackwater, known as “No Leg Dancer” by the Apaches because of the leg he lost in the War Between the States and his penchant for blowing reveille on his bugle each morning; their friend, Two Feather, the Mescalero Apache boy who takes Beth Delilah to meet his wise old grandfather who sees mysterious things; and Señora Roja, who everyone believes is a bruja, or witch, and who they know to be vile and evil.

John Sandoval
Elijah has horrible nightmares involving Señora Roja, death and torture. And when the witch enslaves a girl named Rosa, the pair must try to rescue her from her grim fate. Together, Elijah and Beth Delilah come of age in a land of mountains and ravens, where good and evil vie for the souls of white men and Indians alike.

John Sandoval wrote screenplays, poems and novels. Two of his plays were given staged readings in local theaters in Nevada City, California, where he lived for many years. In his words he "earned his daily bread as fire fighter, gold miner, house painter. From these occupations, and from idling about on street corners and in saloons, he has drawn his inspiration.” At the time of his death in 2011 he was residing in Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote and worked at the historical Alcazar Hotel as late night desk clerk. This is his first and only published novel.

Halting Steps: Collected and New Poems
Claribel Alegría
Curbstone - August, 2013

[from the publisher]
Halting Steps represents the most complete single-volume retrospective in English of Claribel Alegría’s seven-decade career. The volume collects all of Alegría’s poems from her fourteen previously published books and debuts several new poems under the title “Otherness.”Alegría was born in Nicaragua during the United States
occupation of that country. Alegría’s family opposed the occupation and moved to El Salvador, where she grew up. Her poetry is not only lyrical and introspective but also politically engaged. Her verse has always spoken forcefully, specifically, and fearlessly to matters of social justice in her region. She strikes a universal theme, however, in giving a voice to individuals of all classes in their struggle against oppression, but especially women who must contend with a system in which men hold the power and women are excluded. Alegría demonstrates her remarkable range with deeply personal poems, perhaps most notably in the poem cycle “Sorrow,” as she moves steadily through the waves of grief she experiences after her husband’s death.In Halting Steps, both longtime admirers and those new to her work can appreciate the sustained creative power of Claribel Alegría’s poems.

Claribel Alegría is a Salvadoran-Nicaraguan poet and novelist who is a major voice in the literature of contemporary Central America. She was awarded the 2006 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

New Exhibit Honors Lorca

Lorca in New York City

Back Tomorrow: Federico García Lorca / Poet in New York
[from the New York Public Library website]

Friday, April 5 through Saturday, July 20, 2013

In June 1929, at a time when young writers and painters dreamed of living in Paris, Federico García Lorca (1898–1936), Spain’s greatest modern poet and playwright, broke boldly with tradition and sailed for New York. His nine months here, followed by three months in Havana, changed his vision of poetry, the theater, and the social role of the artist.

Lorca came to New York to study English but devoted himself instead to writing Poet in New York, a howl of protest against racial bigotry, mindless consumption, and the adoration of technology. “What we call civilization, he called slime and wire,” the critic V. S. Pritchett once wrote. But Lorca’s book reaches beyond New York—“this maddening, boisterous Babel”—into the depths of the psyche, in a search for wholeness and redemption.

In 1936, the poet left the manuscript of Poet in New York on the desk of his Madrid publisher with a note saying he would be “back tomorrow,” probably to discuss final details. He never returned. Weeks later, at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, he was brutally murdered by fascist elements in Granada, his body thrown into an unmarked mass grave. The book was published posthumously in 1940, but the manuscript mysteriously disappeared, lost to scholars for decades. The Fundación Federico García Lorca in Madrid and The New York Public Library exhibit it now for the first time, together with drawings, photographs, letters, and mementos—traces of a Poet in New York . . . and of New York in a poet.

The exhibition was curated by Christopher Maurer, Boston University, and Andrés Soria Olmedo, Universidad de Granada.

Related programs: July 9, July 10, July 11, 1:15 - 2:30 and LIVE from NYPL, June 4.

This exhibition is organized jointly by the Fundación Federico García Lorca, The New York Public Library, and Acción Cultural Española with the support of ”la Caixa” Foundation.

Support for The New York Public Library’s Exhibitions Program has been provided by Celeste Bartos, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos Exhibitions Fund, and Jonathan Altman.

New Performance Art

Evangeline REMIXED                                                                          

David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez
Wednesday, March 27, 7:30 p.m.
The Autry in Griffith Park (Los Angeles)
Appropriate For: 13+
Admission: General Admission: $20 • Members and Students: $15 • Admission Plus Special Reception: $50. Reception supports About Productions and its educational programs that serve highest-risk youth.

Evangeline REMIXED is the next phase of the Evangeline, the Queen of Make-Believe project, the popular theatre work that debuted last spring at the Bootleg Theater. Featuring performances by Grammy Award-winners David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez of Los Lobos—whose celebrated songbook provides the soundtrack for the production—the story centers around Evangeline, a devoted East L.A. daughter by day and a Hollywood go-go dancer by night, who must navigate the dramatic changes in late 1960s Los Angeles. Evangeline REMIXED reflects the shared history of the city and its citizens at a time of enormous social upheaval. This work-in-progress performance will be followed by a post-play discussion.

An Interview with Los Lobos' Louie Perez: Evangeline's Long Road.


Word from La Bloga's friend Gloria Velásquez about her upcoming lecture and book signing as part of the César Chávez festivities on the campus of Colorado State (Fort Collins):


I wanted to let everyone know that I have taken my Superwoman Cape out of the closet and will be giving a lecture from 12-1 on Friday, March 29th at CSU-Ft. Collins as part of their yearly César Chávez Day Celebration. My lecture will be followed by a booksigning from 1-2. The event is open to the public and will be held at the Lory Center on the CSU Campus. I would love to see any family and friends that can make it! 

For any information about the event, contact: Professor Guadalupe Salazar at (970) 402-1364

Desperado: A Mile High Noir Event Schedule

Like a steamroller (do these still exist?), the opening events for Desperado: A Mile High Noir rush over the hill. Here they come - hope to see you at one of these, if not more. But first, the latest review from Mystery Scene magazine:

"First-person point of view can be as invigorating as a dip in a Rocky Mountain stream. Read enough bloated thrillers with unnecessarily intricate narratives alternating between multiple characters and plots, and sitting down with a flawed-but-honest guy like [main character] Gus is a welcome change, indeed. ... But first-person narrators are also notoriously unreliable. ... If you are able to guess the truth, then you're more clever than me."

March 21-24:  This week I'm participating in the Left Coast Crime Conference. As its website explains, Left Coast Crime is "an annual mystery convention sponsored by mystery fans, for mystery fans." This year's conference is in Colorado Springs, just down the road from Denver. I'm on two panels:  "Chills on the Mean Streets" where we will talk about thrillers in all of their configurations. Fellow panelists include A.K. Alexander, John Rector, Alan Russell, Michael Sherer. I also am on "Good Guys in Black Hats: The Antihero." In this one we tackle topics like what makes an antihero, how bad can the antihero be, etc. Anyone who reads Desperado will know that Gus is not exactly heroic, and yet, and yet  ...  I'm on a panel with John Gilstrap, Mark Sullivan, Simon Wood, and Reavis Wortham. This conference is also the place where I will actually see a finished copy of my book - it will be on sale and I'll sign copies - my first physical contact with the new book. 

April 3:   Denver Post Auditorium, 5:30 P.M. - 7:30 P.M. Click on image for better view - or go here for info about this event.

April 11:  The Tattered Cover (Colfax Store, Denver); 7:30 PM. I'll read from and sign Desperado, answer a few questions, and generally have a good time celebrating this book. One never knows if this will ever happen again.  So, we will party.

April 20:  The Longmont (CO) Public Library. 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. Colorado Authors Open House. I understand there will be at least 50 authors at this event, which is part of the month-long Library Festival. We will be selling and signing our books and enjoying the ambiance and attitude that only a good library can provide. Stop on by if you are anywhere north of Denver - it's going to be a beautiful spring day in Colorado. 

April 27:  Broadway Book Mall, 200 South Broadway, Denver, 2:00 P.M. Ron and Nina Else open up their store to present Desperado to their customers and any of my readers who drop by. This is a great place and the events that Ron and Nina sponsor are usually laid back but very informative and, a key ingredient, fun. Love of reading and books permeates this store. See you there.

OK, that's enough BSP this go around. 


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