Friday, April 03, 2015

New Books. Troncoso. García Márquez. Noir Feminists. Selena. National Book Festival. Lydia Gil. Museo de las Americas. Pancho.

I've dug deep into an overflowing bag of goodies to present the following literary news, cultural events, and good-timey happenings.  Hope you get to enjoy some of these.

New Books

Electra's Complex
Emma Pérez
Bella Books - May, 2015

[from the publisher]
Electra Campos has kept her life cleanly divided. By week she tends to her academic duties and her students. Weekends she frequents the Down Under, a Chelsea sex club for women.

When her spiteful ex Isabel Cortez issues yet another petty threat, she brushes it off—until she finds Capital College’s dean in a pool of his own blood. At first, NYPD Detective Carolina Quinn seems concerned only in Electra’s details of finding the body. Then the interest grows intensely professional…and personal.

Why would the police think Electra had a motive for murder? She had no personal interaction with Dean Johnson. But his wife was no stranger to the Down Under, and Detective Quinn is extremely curious about every detail of Electra’s other life.

A Bella After Dark erotic, romantic mystery!

Electra's Complex is a sexy romp through queer New York and the groves of academia from a writer who knows the landscape and is a confident and engaging guide. Emma Pérez's book is a pleasure!-- Michael Nava, critically acclaimed author of the seven-volume mystery series featuring gay attorney Henry Rios.

About the author:
Emma Pérez has published essays in history and feminist theory as well as The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History. Pérez’s novel, Gulf Dreams, was first published in 1996 and was considered one of the first Chicana lesbian novels in print.  Aunt Lute Books reissued the second edition in May 2009.  From 1990 until 2003, she was a faculty member of the Department of History, University of Texas, El Paso.  In fall 2003, she joined the Department of Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado, Boulder where she is currently Chair and Full Professor.  Her recent novel, Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory, (University of Texas Press, 2009) is a “Chicana lesbian western” that challenges white-male-centered westerns.  The novel was awarded the Christopher Isherwood Writing Grant in December 2009, won 2nd place in Historical Fiction from International Latino Books and was a finalist in Fiction from the Lambda Literary Fiction Awards as well as a finalist in Historical Fiction from the Golden Crown Literary Awards.  She is currently conducting research on a speculative novel that uses Antonio Gaudí’s architecture in Barcelona as the backdrop and landscape of the novel.  Pérez continues to theorize how our work may decolonize race and sexuality.

Ends of Assimilation
John Alba Cutler
Oxford University Press - January, 2015

[from the publisher]
Ends of Assimilation examines how Chicano literature imagines the conditions and costs of cultural change, arguing that its thematic preoccupation with assimilation illuminates the function of literature. John Alba Cutler shows how mid-century sociologists advanced a model of assimilation that ignored the interlinking of race, gender, and sexuality and characterized American culture as homogeneous, stable, and exceptional. He demonstrates how Chicano literary works from the postwar period to the present understand culture as dynamic and self-consciously promote literature as a medium for influencing the direction of cultural change. With original analyses of works by canonical and noncanonical writers--from Américo Paredes, Sandra Cisneros, and Jimmy Santiago Baca to Estela Portillo Trambley, Alfredo Véa, and Patricia Santana--Ends of Assimilation demands that we reevaluate assimilation, literature, and the very language we use to talk about culture.

John Alba Cutler is Assistant Professor of English at Northwestern University.


Illustration by Marc Burckhardt

Brilliant writer and La Bloga's good friend Sergio Troncoso has an essay in the April Texas Monthly entitled The Good Son. The lead is:  

I left El Paso at the age of eighteen and never looked back. Decades later, with my father’s health failing, I realize what I left behind. 

It's a moving, personal piece that resonates with me and, I am sure, with many of our readers who care for ailing or fragile parents.  It's also about the things that actually are important in life, as opposed to those things we want to be important. 

You can jump to the article at this link.


A Tribute to Gabriel García Márquez, Friday, April 17, 2015

[from the CSU College of Liberal Arts April Newsletter]

Organized by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Colorado State University

Last year the world mourned the death of Latin America’s most prominent author, Gabriel García Márquez. The author of novels such as Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, Chronicles of a Death Foretold and Autumn of the Patriarch won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. Beloved among readers for the magical realism of his novels, he is one of the main voices of the Latin American literary boom of the 1960s and 1970s. His writing has shaped the image of Latin America as one of solitude and exuberance and has had a lasting, often hotly debated impact on the region’s literature.

This symposium pays tribute to his life and work by featuring a keynote by Gene H. Bell-Villada, Williams College, MA, workshops by CSU faculty and affiliates, presentations by students, as well as fun workshops in writing and story-telling for teenagers, students and creative minds!

We invite the Fort Collins and Colorado community to join us for this special day. The event is free and open to the public. Events held in English and Spanish.

Panel: When Crime Fiction Matters: A Transborder Dialogue with Lucha Corpi, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, and Patricia Valladares

[from the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Newsletter]
Wednesday, April 29, 2:00–5:00 p.m. CSRC Library–144 Haines Hall                           

In the last twenty years, noir feminist narratives have had a steady ascent into the Latin American and U.S. Latina/o literary scene. Chicana writers Lucha Corpi, born in Veracruz, México, and Alicia Gaspar de Alba, from El Paso, are a part of a small group of U.S. Latina writers who have contributed to the noir-crime fiction genre. Mexico City-native Patricia Valladares, whose debut novel Tan frío como el infierno (2014) picks up the literary conversation on social, political, and economic issues currently confronted by twenty-first century women from Mexico City to Palestine. Each writer in her own way combines activism with art. This panel will bring these three noir feminist authors together for the first time for a transborder dialogue to reflect on the origins and the impact of their written work and their binational activism in an era where noir-crime fiction provides an everyday mirror to nota roja realities lived by women in Mexico and the United States. Co-curated by Sandra Ruiz, visiting lecturer in Chicana/o studies and Spanish & Portuguese, and Héctor Calderón, professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. This event is cosponsored by the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, and the CSRC.


CHAC Norte Presents: Selena Quintanilla, Dreaming of You

april 2 

March 31st  Art Show Opening 5-9pm 
Selena Quintanilla Candle Light Vigil
Please bring a special item to put on the Community Offrenda, Aztec Dancers (Grupo Tlaloc), Music by Miss Vero (Veronica Gallegos), Spoken Word by Dr. Ramon del Castillo.

April 3rd First Friday 5-9pm featuring Los Latineerz Band
April 17th Third Friday 5-9pm Selena look-a-like contest and Karaoke
3 different categories Women’s, Children’s, and Alternatives

April 18th 12-4pm Selena Children’s Art Education hosted by Arlette Lucero (1:00- 2:30) and Selena Car Show hosted by the Viejitos Car Club y Amigos

All events will be held at CHAC Gallery 772 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, except the Selena Car Show which will be at the Bill Trust parking lot 6th Ave and Santa Fe Dr.


Nearly 100 Authors on Board for 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival

[from the Library of Congress press release]

Library to Celebrate Two Important Milestones

Almost 100 of the nation’s best writers, poets and illustrators have already committed to appear at the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival, which will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 5, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

More information on the National Book Festival is at Additional authors will be announced in the coming weeks.

The festival will mark its 15th anniversary since its establishment in 2001 and will also honor the Library’s spiritual founder, Thomas Jefferson, whose personal library covering all subjects guides the universal collecting policies of today’s Library of Congress. Jefferson sold his books to the Library of Congress in 1815, after a fire destroyed the original Library collections during the War of 1812. The theme of this year’s festival is “I cannot live without books,” a famous statement by Jefferson.

“In 2015, the Library will welcome back many authors who have been with us over the past 15 years, as well as many first-timers,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “The diversity of authors and the subjects they write about are what make the National Book Festival an event for everyone. No matter your interest, there are sure to be authors you will want to see and hear.”

Among the scheduled authors listed so far that may be of interest to La Bloga readers are these few Latina/o authors: Daniel Alarcón, Lalo Alcaraz, Sonia Manzano, Ray Suarez, Hector Tobar.


Lydia Gil - Colorado Book Award Finalist 

Congratulations to La Bloga's Lydia Gil! Letters From Heaven was named a finalist for a 2015 Colorado Book Award in the Juvenile Literature category.  A list of all the finalists can be found at this link.

Letters From Heaven has been described as  “A poignant and uplifting story about the special bond only a grandmother and a granddaughter can share. Delicious and magical!” Reyna Grande. Click here to learn more about the book.

Lydia writes for La Bloga on alternating Thursdays. Winners will be announced at the Colorado Book Awards ceremony Sunday, June 21, 2015 at the Doerr-Hosier Center at Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen. Tickets are available by calling Colorado Humanities, 303.894.7951, x10.


Museo de las Americas - Best of Denver


This just in from our pals at Museo de las Americas:

The Denver Westword recently named Museo best of Denver in two categories! The current exhibit, CHICANO, celebrating the Movimiento that occurred in Denver in the 1960's-70's was highlighted
as "Best Two-Fisted History Lesson." Stop by and participate in a march or two and experience the Chicano Movimiento first hand!

This powerful political exhibit will be on display from now- May 29th!

In addition to this wonderful accolade, Museo's summer exhibit, Outside In 303 was named "Best Indoor Display of Outside Art." Museo took a chance this summer by transforming the white walls of the museum into a graffiti paradise representing local artists throughout the West side of Denver.
Museo is honored for this recognition and will continue its duty of accessibility as a cultural and communal art institution in Denver!

Museo de las Americas
861 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, Colorado 80204

Now, some bsp:

From the Tattered Cover:

09 Apr 2015 - Thursday 7:00 pm
Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue
2526 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80206

Multiple award-winning Colorado author Manuel Ramos will read from and sign his new collection The Skull of Pancho Villa and Other Stories (Arte Público Press). Many of these gripping stories feature Mexican Americans struggling with their circumstances as an ethnic minority in the United States. Others cover historical events, from the Mexican Revolution to an encounter with Jack Kerouac. All spotlight Ramos' artistry and dexterity as he shifts from noir to historical and even flash fiction. 

"The Godfather of Chicano noir hits us hard with this collection. Great range, dark visions, and lots of mojo - much of it bad to the bone. A fine book!" -Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Into the Beautiful North

Can't make it to the signing? Request an autographed copy here:

And from the Broadway Book Mall:

MANUEL RAMOS and his new collection, The Skull of Pancho Villa and Other Stories
Come listen to this master storyteller and all-around Good Guy.

200 S. Broadway
Denver, CO 80209


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