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Showing posts from May, 2011


Today is a day to remember our Soldiers and thank them for the freedoms we enjoy.  Here's a group that will NOT be forgotten, ever.    Click here to view the film trailer. The 65th Infantry Regiment was created in 1899 by the U.S. Congress as a segregated unit composed primarily of Puerto Ricans with mostly continental officers. The 65th fought in three wars: World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The unit was nicknamed the “ Borinqueneers ” after the island of Puerto Rico. The native Taino Indians called their island Borinquen, which means “land of the brave lord.” The 65th performed impressively in all the wars, particularly the Korean War for which they earned high praise from General MacArthur for always giving 200%. The 65th Regiment showed outstanding resilience and legendary fierceness as combatants, even as they faced discrimination within the Army. In the fall of 1952, the Borinqueneers were at the center of a series of dramatic events that threatened th


   The Latina Book Club will feature "Author Cameos" every Wednesday -- brief bios of new authors to explore. Join us and, as always, Read Latino. Richard Yañez is an author, college professor and community advocate. He is the author of CROSS OVER WATER and EL PASO DEL NORTE: STORIES ON THE BORDER, which won the Steven Turner First Book Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. Yanez’ chapbook, “Sacred Heart”, was included in the Chicano Chapbook Series edited by Gary Soto. His articles have appeared in numerous literary and collegiate journals. For more information on this talented writer, visit him at . CROSS OVER WATER  

REVIEW AND Q&A: HABANERA by Teresa Dovalpage

   Se fue para no volver, Se fue sin decirme adios. Muy lejos de mi se fue Matando mi ensueno de amor. We are building tomorrow’s society With today’s sweat, a notebook and a gun. If I move forward, follow me, If I stop, push me. If I back off, kill me. "The system is crap, and Castro is still a bearded cabron . What I like is the smells, the people, The Cubanness.” Teresa Dovalpage has written an emotional, fast-paced and entertaining novel. Reminiscent of WHEN I WAS PUERTO RICAN and HOW THE GARCIA GIRLS LOST THEIR ACCENT, Ms. Dovalpage’s HABANERA also chronicles the life of a young Latina, but this one lives in Habana, Cuba. Longina’s story is at times funny and sad, carefree and heart breaking.   It is a must read for every Latina library. Below is a short summary of HABANERA and below that is a Q&A with the author.  Do let us know if you've read the book and/or what other books you've read in the same format.   Thanks --mcf HABANERA: A Por


   The Latina Book Club will feature "Author Cameos" every Wednesday -- brief bios of new authors to explore. Join us and, as always, Read Latino. Mary Castillo writes popular chic lit novels, including SWITCHCRAFT, IN BETWEEN MEN and HOT TAMARA. She’s also written several novellas, the latest included in ORANGE COUNTRY NOIR (Akashic Books, 2010). Mary was a reporter at the LA Times Community News (“second greatest job”), and her articles have appeared in Latino Future, Romance Writers Report, Tu Ciudad and Animation World Network . In 2004, Latina magazine called Mary “an author to look out for” and in 2005, OC Metro magazine named her one of the hottest 25 people in the O.C. And, she still is! To learn more about this author visit her at . IN BETWEEN MEN Teacher voted "least sexiest" releases her inner sex kitten.      


            I wanted to write about a character with a Mexican-American mother and an Anglo father, because that was my experience and it made me feel special on the one hand, but also like I couldn’t belong fully to either group.-- Toni Q: Why short stories? You are an editor, why not a novel? A: Well, the short answer is, because I didn’t have a novel! At least, not one I could publish. What I had was a collection of stories I’d written and rewritten over the years. It’s true that many publishers and agents encourage writers to write novels, as opposed to stories or (gasp!) poetry. Collections are hard to sell and I’ve never acquired or edited one at my job. But I'm really glad that I'm starting out with a story collection. It gives me a chance to get my feet wet, so to speak. I’ve acquired many first-time authors, but this is the first time I’m the author myself, so it’s still new in some ways. I look forward to coming out with my first novel one day, but I als


Luis Alberto Urrea has won numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. He was a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for non-fiction and is a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. His novels include, THE HUMMINGBIRD’S DAUGHTER and INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH. THE DEVIL’S HIGHWAY, which was named a Best Book of the Year by many publications, has been optioned for a film by acclaimed Mexican director Luis Mandoki and is to star Antonio Banderas. Luis was born in Tijuana, Mexico, to a Mexican father and an America mother. He graduated from the University of California at San Diego and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He has taught writing and fiction workshops at Harvard, and is now teaching at the University of Illinois-Chicago. To learn more about this writer, visit him at . This sequel to THE HUMMINGBIRD'S DAUGHTER will be out in December 2011.


   PRECINCT PUERTO RICO: BOOK ONE A Luis Gonzalo Novel By Steven Torres Thomas Dunne Books “Revenge is pointless. It’s like the candy the kids eat at the fiestas patronales—it tastes sweet at first, but it dissolves as you eat it and leaves you empty.” “Can a gandule arrest a Metropolitano ?” This book had me at “Puerto Rico.” I admit it: I am a little biased for all things Puerto Rican, and this book does not disappoint. In fact, it reminds me of Tony Hillerman’s Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels in that the hero solves the crime because he knows his people, he knows his town. Same can be said of Sheriff Luis Gonzalo. Luis Gonzalo is the Sheriff of Angustias, a small town whose whole police force consists of six officers and one squad car. Gonzalo is in Rincon, one of the bigger towns on the island on family business, when there is a ship wreck and bodies are washing up on shore. He jumps in to help rescue the victims and stumbles upon a ring of illegal trafficking


Felicidades!!!   This Sunday is Mother's Day.  A good gift to go with flowers and dinner is a book, especially one about Mothers.  In LAS MAMIS, edited by Esmeralda Santiago, 14 Latino authors write about their mothers and growing up.  This is a great collection of short stories that mother and child can read together. “From rich mamis to poor ones, loving to relentless, this collection of essays eloquently captures the diversity of Latino culture while paying tribute to its most enduring characteristic: amor a madre.”  --- Publishers Weekly Feliz Dia de Madres.   


The Latina Book Club will feature "Author Cameos" every Wednesday -- brief bios of new authors to explore. Join us and, as always, Read Latino. SANDRA CISNEROS Poet, writer, teacher, counselor Sandra writes poetry, fiction and children’s books. Her best known novels are THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET and CARAMELO. Her collection of short stories, WOMAN HOLLERING CREEK AND OTHER STORIES won several awards including, the PEN Center West Award for Best Fiction and the Quality Paperback Book Club New Voices Award. Sandra is a teacher, counselor, lecturer and writer-in-residence at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. She was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, which led her to organize the Latino MacArthur Fellows, Los MacArturos. Sandra is also president and founder of the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation. Sandra was raised in Chicago and now lives in San Antonio. To learn more about this award-winning author, visit her at h


       BREATH & BONE by Thelma T. Reyna Finishing Line Press SUMMARY: This award winning poetry collection is filled with poems about Reyna’s memories and life experiences. Although some of the poems deal with real-life challenges of poverty, pain, and death, Reyna knows exactly how to convey such emotions through beautiful lyrical pieces of literature.  Q&A WITH THELMA T. REYNA Q: What does poetry mean to you? What inspires your poetry? Poetry is a very special compressed language, a shorthand way of expressing a lot. It’s a melting pot of other arts: photography (a snapshot in time), music (the rhythms and rhymes), and art (the verbal painting of pictures). The best poetry can stir deep thinking for days, or move your emotions, or make you smile with a few lines. The best poetry is timeless and universal, defying circumscriptions. What inspires my poetry? Any hour of the day, almost any action, almost any person, any place, and most thoughts that stir and stay