Monday, April 14, 2014

Coming soon: "Things We Do Not Talk About: Exploring Latino/a Literature through Essays and Interviews"

Publication date: June 1 from San Diego State University Press
by Daniel A. Olivas

[If you'd like a PDF advance review copy, please write to me at and put "ARC" in the subject line.]

In this candid and wide-ranging collection of personal essays and interviews, award-winning author Daniel A. Olivas explores Latino/a literature at the dawn of the 21st century.

While his essays address a broad spectrum of topics from the Mexican-American experience to the Holocaust, Olivas always returns to and wrestles with queries that have no easy answers: How does his identity as a Chicano reflect itself through his writing?  What issues and subjects are worth exploring?  How do readers react to the final results?  Can literature affect political discourse and our daily lives?

Olivas has explored similar questions through almost a decade’s worth of interviews with Latino/a authors that have appeared in various online literary publications.  While professors and students alike have already relied upon many of the interviews as source material for scholarly examination, twenty-eight of these incisive and frank dialogues are now collected in one volume for the first time.  Olivas dives deep to discover how these authors create prose and poetry while juggling families, facing bigotry, struggling with writer’s block, and deciphering a fickle publishing industry.  This roster of interview subjects is a who’s who of contemporary Latino/a literature:

Aaron A. Abeyta • Daniel Alarcón • Francisco Aragón • Gustavo Arellano
Gregg Barrios • Richard Blanco • Margo Candela • Susana Chávez-Silverman
Sandra Cisneros • Carlos E. Cortés • Carmen Giménez Smith • Ray González
Rigoberto González • Octavio González • Reyna Grande • Myriam Gurba
Rubén Martínez • Michael Luis Medrano • Aaron Michael Morales • Manuel Muñoz
Salvador Plascencia • Sam Quinones • Ilan Stavans • Héctor Tobar
Justin Torres • Sergio Troncoso • Luis Alberto Urrea • Helena María Viramontes

Things We Do Not Talk About will undoubtedly become a natural companion to the study and enjoyment of contemporary Latino/a literature.  Cover artwork is by Perry Vasquez.

DANIEL A. OLIVAS is the author of six books including the award-winning novel, The Book of Want (University of Arizona Press).  He is the editor of the landmark anthology, Latinos in Lotusland (Bilingual Press), which brings together sixty years of Los Angeles fiction by Latino/a writers.  Widely anthologized, Olivas's fiction, poetry and essays have appeared, or are forthcoming, in many literary journals including Exquisite Corpse, PANK, The MacGuffin, PALABRA, New Madrid, Fairy Tale Review, Bilingual Review, and Pilgrimage.  He has also written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Jewish Journal, La Bloga, El Paso Times, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.  Olivas earned his degree in English literature from Stanford University, and law degree from UCLA.  By day, he is an attorney in the Public Rights Division of the California Department of  Justice in Los Angeles.


Manuel Ramos said...

Congratulations Daniel! Hope to have a copy soon.

Mario Acevedo said...

Same here.

Lydia Gil said...

Wonderful! Can't wait to read (and review!)

Daniel A. Olivas said...

Gracias! La Bloga is featured heavily in this book with appropriate credit. I will email review copies to the entire La Bloga team soon.

Marjie said...

This is great to see. I am now a latina single mom and I write write write but the reaction to my writing since joining the world of single motherhood has had he most profound effect in particular how much judgment there is towards single moms, not to mention being Latina and a single mom.

Glad to see this community thriving!

Victoria M. Johnson said...

This book sounds fascinating. Congratulations!