March 7, 2017

BOOK OF THE MONTH: DYSFUNCTIONAL MALES BY FERNANDO SDRIGOTTI (DEBUT NOVEL!)

  
The Grid….This mystical understanding of everything known to man, only comparable to the opening of my pores, melting and understanding everything that surrounds me in the way we understand our own skin. Pantheism, non-dualistic mind. A body without organs. I’ve suddenly become everything and yet, at the same time, much better than everything else.



La Casita Grande
The Latina Book Club congratulates Fernando Sdrigotti on his debut novel!

Even though March is Women’s History Month, we have chosen a book of the month that is all about men.  (The book cover says it all!)

Sdrigotti’s DYSFUNCTIONAL MALES is a gritty and exciting collection of five stories set in contemporary London.  This collection is full of contradictions.  It’s at once ridiculous yet significant; light yet dark; irrelevant yet insightful; toxic yet energizing. 

Men are different. They obsess over video games, sex, drugs, wanking off.  But in bursts of clarity, they do contemplate the reason for their existence, their homosexuality, their death.  

These characters enjoy the anonymity of London and may be on a “journey towards disappearance.” Sdrigotti invites us to meet the meditative coke-head; the bisexual; the loner; the patient; the lover; and challenges us to look beyond the surface, the stereotypes, and see their fear, their loneliness, their disjointedness underneath.  These are young men one would meet at a bar or on a train.  They could be a friend, a coworker, a neighbor, a brother—all worthy of our attention and our regard.


READ AN EXCERPT, click here.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Fernando Sdrigotti was born in Rosario, Argentina, and has lived in London since the early noughties. His fiction and critical writing have appeared widely online and in print. DYSFUNCTIONAL MALES is his first book in English.  Visit him at www.fernando-sdrigotti.com.


MEET THE AUTHOR IN LONDON!  Book signing, March 30 at 19:00 at The Plough, 27 Museum Street, Bloomsbury.



READ LATINO!




March 1, 2017

EXCERPT WEDNESDAY! DYSFUNCTONAL MALES BY FERNANDO SDRIGOTTI

   
   
Every Wednesday The Latina Book Club features an excerpt from
an exciting new book written by a Latino author or for a Latino audience.

This week we are highlighting DYSFUNCTIONAL MALES by Fernando Sdrigotti. 
It’s an exciting collection—a little outrageous, a little pathetic but then such are the tales of men.

Happy Reading.  Read Latino.






La Casita Grande
EXCERPT

DYSFUNCTIONAL MALES
by Fernando Sdrigotti



How would a real man, say Steve McQueen, have reacted? Grabbing him by the neck, pulling him off the wheelchair, and smashing him headfirst against the ground? I don’t think so. Perhaps just graciously hiding the pain on the leg with a handsome grin, leaning against the first available wall, lighting up and smoking away for a while. What’s very clear is that he wouldn’t have stammered a few pathetic angry words — Steve McQueen wouldn’t have released all his passive aggression on a fellow soldier, a comrade, a man, regardless of body ability. Great men preserve their greatness through times of trouble, even if by trouble we understand to be getting hit by a guy in a wheelchair. And, by the way, is it right to say disabled? Is it politically correct to say disabled to a guy you are trying to insult? Is it morally acceptable to say to a disabled man — stammeringly — “I don’t kick your ass because you’re disabled”? Very un-Steve McQueen-like. “What do you mean, ‘look where you’re going’? I don’t kick your ass because you’re disabled!”. So patronising: of course it would set the guy off. It did. It set him off and I ended up walking away fast from the place, crossing the road to avoid any confrontation, or the embarrassment of having people see me being ran over by a furious guy on an electric wheelchair. This guy shouting at me from his wheelchair — the word ‘disabled’ reverberating in my head (not even aggressive enough to be an insult — I should have said spastic or cripple; I would have sounded angrier, more manly).

It was a terrible situation. And yet so easy to avoid: you only need to pay attention to your whereabouts. If your politically correct lexicon forbids the use of certain words, look where you’re going. Since we have become a species that goes through space staring at mobile phone screens it can’t be attributed to chance. The only element of chance in this pseudo-accident is that I was ran over by an electric wheelchair and not a delivery lorry. Steve McQueen should be happy that he passed away before the invention of the smartphone. We are all slowly becoming screen-staring monkeys.

Excerpt printed with permission. All rights reserved by author.



SUMMARY:  DYSFUNCTIONAL MALES is a collection of five short stories set in contemporary London.  A satirical critique of the weaknesses and obsessions of the ‘stronger sex’, this ambitious work of fiction focuses on the misadventures of its characters to explore life and alienation in a contemporary megalopolis.  At times uproarious, at others pathetic and dark, the fables in the collection share a distinctive atmosphere beyond fantasy and realism, inviting readers to take part in an onward flight that could land them anywhere.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Fernando Sdrigotti was born in Rosario (Argentina) and has lived in London since the early noughties. His fiction and critical writing has appeared widely online and in print. DYSFUNCTIONAL MALES is his first book in English. Learn more about Fernando by visiting http://www.fernando-sdrigotti.com/.



READ LATINO 





February 8, 2017

EXCERPT WEDNESDAY! WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS BY ANNA-MARIE McLEMORE



Every Wednesday The Latina Book Club features an excerpt from 
an exciting new book written by a Latino author or for a Latino audience.

This week we are highlighting WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS by Anna-Marie McLemore.
 It’s about a magical girl, a transgender boy and four witches out to destroy them.

Happy Reading.  Read Latino.



EXCERPT

WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS
Anna-Marie McLemore
Thomas Dunne Books


As far as he knew, she had come from the water. But even about that, he couldnt be sure.

It didnt matter how many nights theyd met on the untilled land between their houses; the last farm didn’t rotate its crops, and stripped the soil until nothing but wild grasses would grow. It didnt matter how many stories he and Miel had told each other when they could not sleep, him passing on his mothers fables of moon bears that aided lost travelers, Miel making up tales about his moon lamps falling in love with stars. Sam didnt know any more than anyone else about where shed come from before he found her in the brush eld. She seemed to have been made of water one minute and the next, became a girl.

Someday, he and Miel would be nothing but a fairy tale. When they were gone from this town, no one would remember the exact brown of Miels eyes, or the way she spiced recado rojo with cloves, or even that Sam and his mother were Pakistani. At best, they would remember a dark-eyed girl, and a boy whose family had come from somewhere else. They would remember only that Miel and Sahad been called 
Honey and Moon, a girl and a boy woven into the folklore of this place.

Excerpt printed with permission. All rights reserved by author.

To read our review of WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS, click here.


BOOK SUMMARY:  To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
       Embedded in the love story, Sam faces how to claim his identity as a transgender boy, and Miel and Sam struggle with how to define their love, both to themselves and their community. McLemore tackles this relevant issue thoughtfully, coming from her own experience in her relationship with her husband, who is transgender.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and grew up in a Mexican-American family. She attended University of Southern California on a Trustee Scholarship. A Lambda Literary Fellow, she has had work featured by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, CRATE Literary Magazine’s cratelit, Camera Obscura’s Bridge the Gap Series, and The Portland Review.  Visit her at author.annamariemclemore.com.


READ LATINO




February 6, 2017

BOOK OF THE MONTH: WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS BY ANNA-MARIE McLEMORE


   
  
  
Love is love is love.


February is the month of love, of magic, of fairy tales so of course we had to find a book that included all those qualities for our Book of the Month, and we found it. 

WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS (Thomas Dunne Books) is full of magic, fairies and witches, full of love and betrayal. We picked this novel because the prose is beautiful and evocative, and magic blooms in every page. And, the dedication by author 
Anna-Marie McLemore will capture the heart of every reader.

To the boys who get called girls,
To girls who get called boys,
And those who live outside these words.
To those called names,
And those searching for names of their own,
To those who live on the edges,
And in the spaces in between.
I wish for your every light in the sky.


WHEN THE MOON IS OURS is a love story between a magical girl and a transgender boy. Their secrets are choking them and keeping them from being true to themselves. And, it is only when they let go of their fear, of their shame, and learn to love themselves first, that they find the courage to face each other and their community.  Nothing is more beautiful than finding that one person to love and loving all of them, even the parts they don’t love about themselves.  


SUMMARY:   Miel and Sam have been inseparable since they met when she fell out of a water tower. (Actually, the water from the fallen tower fell over her in the brush and exposed her to the town.) Miel has roses growing out of her wrists, while Sam is known for the moons he is always painting and hanging in trees. They are odd and harmless in the eyes of the town, except to the four Bonner girls, who are rumored to be witches. The two groups have stayed away from each, but now the Bonner sisters want the flowers Miel grows because they believe their scent will make anyone fall in love. The battle is on. The sisters fight dirty and threatened to expose every secret Miel and Sam have in order to get what they want. Now Miel and Sam must band together stronger than ever to survive, and to define their love for themselves and their community.

Read our review of THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS by clicking here.

And, join us on Wednesday, February 8, when The Latina Book Club will feature an excerpt from WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS.

  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Anna-Marie McLemore is a Mexican-American author who draws on the beautiful cultures she grew up in to write magical realism. Her debut novel, THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, was a 2016 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist. Her new novel, WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS, was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.  Her third book, WILD BEAUTY, will be out later in 2017. Anna-Marie’s short stories have been published by Harlequin Teen, Candlewick Press, and in The Portland Review. She lives in Northern California and is represented by the Full Circle Literary Agency. Learn more about her at author.annamariemclemore.com.


Happy Reading. Read Latino Lit.








February 2, 2017

EXCERPT! ZORAIDA & MARISOL BY SARAH RAFAEL GARCIA



The Latina Book Club welcomes Sarah Rafael Garcia and thanks her for sharing with us an excerpt 
from her exciting bilingual collection, SanTana’s Fairy Tales.


"Zoraida & Marisol" is one of six stories from the forthcoming bilingual collection titled SanTana's Fairy Tales written and edited by Sarah Rafael Garcia. The bilingual zines featuring one story a month through March 2017. This story was inspired by the life of transactivist Zoraida Reyes, and all profits for this zine are donated to Transgenero En Accion/Transgender in Action (TEA) in Santa Ana, California. More about the collection below.


Excerpt from "Zoraida & Marisol:”

I was inspiring so you kept saying when you spoke of me. But now, I appear in reflections, cupped hands and wishes.

For as long as I could remember, I wanted to twirl my long hair between china-red fingertips and blush when I cupped my breasts in front of the standing mirror. I wanted a man to caress my curves, from my hips to my puckered lips. But to most, my type of love was forbidden—cursed by society like the familiar tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

Love—I thought I would find it.

But when my limp body was found, winded and pale as the ocean’s spume, it cast a shadow over those close to my heart, leaving only the jagged sounds of shattered dreams and a person by another name—the name I was given at birth, not the real me.

Before I tell you what is to become of you, please keep breathing. As painful as it might be, I plead for you to keep breathing—at the end I will ask for your wish, I promise you that.#

(This excerpt appears with permission of the author. Author holds all copyrights to this work.)




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sarah Rafael Garcia is a writer, community educator and activist. Since the publication of Las Niñas: A Collection of Childhood Memories in 2008, she founded the Barrio Writers, a reading and writing program aimed to empower youth through creative writing, higher education and cultural arts. Plus, she started hosting the Wild Womyn Writers workshops in 2010, which empower womyn to explore their creative spirits.  Sarah writes poetry, creative non-fiction and fiction. Her writing has appeared in various magazines including As/Us Journal and Latino magazine. And, she is a member of the Macondo Writer’s Workshop founded by Sandra Cisneros. Learn more about Sarah at www.sarahrafaelgarcia.com.



MORE ABOUT THE COLLECTION:

SanTana’s Fairy Tales is an oral history, storytelling project initiated by author Sarah Rafael García, which integrates community-based narratives to create contemporary fairytales and fables that represent the history and stories of Mexican/Mexican-American residents of Santa Ana (inspired by the Grimms’ Fairy Tales).

The forthcoming exhibit at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California will present a multi-media installation, curated in collaboration with local visual, musical, and performance artists. The exhibit will showcase bilingual, single-story zines, a fully illustrated published book, an ebook, a large format classical book, graphic art by Sol Art Radio‘s Carla Zarate, an “open book” performance, along with composed music by Viento Callejero‘s Gloria Estrada, who is supported by local singer/songwriter Ruby Castellanos and members of the Pacific Symphony. The entire collection will be translated by poet Julieta Corpus and published by Raspa Press. The ebook will be produced by Digitus Indie Publishers.

SanTana’s Fairy Tales is supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, through a grant supporting the Artist-in-Residence initiative at Grand Central Art Center. The exhibit is scheduled for March 2017 with an open book performance on April 1st.

To learn more about Sarah Rafael García & SanTana's Fairy Tales, visit: https://sarahrafaelgarcia.com/santansfairytales/

To learn more about Raspa Press & purchase zine, visit: http://www.raspamagazine.com/shop/

Happy Reading. Read Latino Lit.