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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category


Amanda Arizola, who manages Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club, shares the club’s paranormal romance pick for a hot summer read.

Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of Las Comadres Para Las Americas.


Amanda Arizola is the National Project Manager for Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club and she is the author of the Teleconference Series. Amanda holds a MBA/MHSM from Texas Woman’s University and she is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a double major in Government and Mexican American Studies. She is a passionate advocate for literarcy and professional development for Latina/os in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The Miseducation of Ana Tijoux

French-Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux talks to Latino USA producer Nadia Reiman about how politics and books have influenced her music, and about what she wants to contribute to the South American hip hop music scene.

Click here to download this week’s show. See below for Ana Tijoux’s video, “Shock,” for Puente Arizona.

Nadia Reiman has been a radio producer since 2005. Before joining the Latino USA team, Nadia produced for StoryCorps for almost five years, and her work there on 9/11 stories earned her a Peabody. She has also mixed audio for animations, assisted on podcasts for magazines, and program managed translations for Canon Latin America. Nadia has also produced for on None on Record editing and mixing stories of queer Africans, and worked on a Spanish language radio show called Epicentro based out of Washington DC. She graduated from Kenyon College with a double major in International Studies and Spanish Literature.

Hamaca Time: Summer Reading

Summer time is reading time. We are asking professional book lovers about their recommendations for summer reading. First up, Aurora Anaya Cerda, owner of La Casa Azul bookstore in East Harlem, New York, about her pick for kids.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Aurora Anaya-Cerda founded La Casa Azul Bookstore in 2008, an online resource promoting children’s literature, educational programing and literature by Latino writers. As an independent bookseller, Ms. Anaya-Cerda has hosted more than sixty literary events in East Harlem and throughout New York City with renowned authors such as Esmeralda Santiago and Junot Díaz. She is the founder of the East Harlem Children’s Book Festival. Ms. Anaya-Cerda is also the Family Programs and Cultural Celebrations Manager at El Museo del Barrio. She has organized major cultural events in East Harlem, including the annual Three Kings Day Parade and the Dia de los Muertos celebration. Before moving to New York, Aurora Anaya-Cerda was a middle school English teacher, promoting art and literacy in her native East Los Angeles neighborhood. A UCLA graduate, Ms. Anaya-Cerda has a double Bachelor’s degree in History and Chicana/o Studies with a specialization in Education.

Remembering Carlos Fuentes

Prolific Latin American writer Carlos Fuentes died on May 15th. Fuentes was part of the Latin American literary “boom” of the 1960s. We remember him by reading a passage about love from his book, This I Believe: An A to Z of a Life.

Click here to download this week’s show. Photo courtesy of Páginas Mexicanas. Read by Andrés Caballero.

Precious Knowledge

The Mexican American Studies Program at a local high school in Tucson, Arizona helped increase the Latino graduation rate and the number of students who went to college. The recently banned program is now the subject of a new documentary, Precious Knowledge, to air next week on PBS. We speak to Eren Isabel McGinnis, the co-director of the film, and Alanna Castro, one of the students who took part in the program.

Click here to download this week’s show.


Eren Isabel McGinnis has produced award-winning documentaries for PBS and other international media outlets for several years. She co-founded Caf Sisters Productions with Christine Fugate, an all-woman production company. She also co-founded Dos Vatos Productions with Ari Luis Palos.

Remembering Rodney

California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera shares a poem he wrote just days after the beating of Rodney King. Juan Felipe Herrera has received multiple awards for his work.

Click here to download this week’s show.
Photo courtesy of


California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera has received numerous awards and fellowships including various National Endowment for the Arts Writers’ Fellowships, four California Arts Council grants, the UC Berkeley Regent’s Fellowship, the Breadloaf Fellowship in Poetry, and the Stanford Chicano Fellows Fellowship. He has published 21 books of poetry, prose, short stories, young adult novels and picture books for children. His literary endeavors have garnered the Ezra Jack Keats Award, the Hungry Mind Award of Distinction, the Americas Award, and the Focal Award.

Testimonio #2

New York based poet Rich Villar reads one of the poems he has written for the challenge to write a daily poem for the month of April, National Poetry Writing Month.

Click here to download this week’s show.


Rich Villar is a writer and poet from Paterson, New Jersey. He is the director of Acentos, a community organization that works to promote Latino literature. His work has appeared on Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Amistad, El Centro’s Letras, Latino Poetry Review, and the acclaimed chapbook series Achiote Seeds.

Taco USA

Author and columnist Gustavo Arellano visits a new-school taco truck in Irvine, California, and explains how it is only the latest example of the long-standing American love affair with Mexican food.   Arellano also speaks with Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa about his new book “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.”

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Gustavo Arellano

is editor of the OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in California. Gustavo also writes “¡Ask a Mexican!,” a nationally syndicated and award-winning column. His most recent book is “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.”


Tough Love…

Being gay in the South Bronx isn’t easy. The moment you step out your door, you’re often defined by your neighborhood, your peers and by tradition. The struggle with self-identity and social acceptance is always there. That’s the premise of ‘Chulito,’ a new novel written by Puerto Rican-born author, Charles Rice-González. It tells the story of 16-year-old “Chulito” who’s in love with a friend from the neighborhood. Charles Rice-González is also gay and from the South Bronx. He joins us now to talk about his new book and about the importance of defining your own self instead of letting your environment and others define you.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Bless Me in the Face of Censorship

When Rudolfo Anaya’s first novel, Bless Me Ultima, was published in 1972, the idea of Chicano literature was brand new. Almost no books by Mexican Americans were available to readers. Forty years later, the schools in Arizona have taken steps to, once again, make Chicano literature harder to get. The state passed a law created to dismantle Tucson’s high school Mexican American studies program. After that, about 50 literary and history books, even including a Shakespeare play, were removed from Tucson schools and placed on a so-called “banned books” list. Anaya’s tale of a six-year-old boy growing up in rural New Mexico was among them. Maria Hinojosa sits down with Rudolfo Anaya to talk about his latest novel and the Arizona controversy.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Nature, Magic & Girl Power

As part of our RadioNature series, we talk to renowned children’s book author, Jan Bozarth, about the unique themes so central to her “Fairy Godmother Academy” books — nature, magic and girl empowerment. Jan also shares her recollections of a visit to her mother’s home country of Cuba.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.




Josefina Lopez

“This is either the longest suicide note in history or the juiciest, dirtiest, most delicious confession you’ll ever hear.” So begins the first novel from Josefina López.

A young American journalist—jaded by war and censorship—breaks off an engagement and heads to Paris to find herself again. She enrolls in a cooking school in order to get a visa, and it turns out cooking school provides just the sort of spiritual awakening she needed.

López is probably best known for her play (and later, the screenplay) “Real Woman Have Curves.” Listen as Maria Hinojosa talks with López about her debut novel Hungry Woman in Paris.

Right click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Barbara Renaud Gonzalez

Bárbara Renaud González, a native-born Tejana and acclaimed journalist, has written a lyrical story of land, love, and loss, bringing us a first novel of a working-class Tejano family set in the cruelest beauty of the Texas panhandle. Her story exposes the brutality, tragedy, and hope of her homeland and helps to fill a dearth of scholarly and literary works on Mexican and Mexican American women in post–World War II Texas.

Maria Hinojosa talks with Bárbara Renaud González about Golondrina, Why Did You Leave Me?.

Right click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Sandra Cisneros

25 years ago, the world was just beginning to learn about all that goes on at The House on Mango Street. Sandra Cisneros introduced us to Esperanza Cordero and we began to experience, through her eyes, being young, poor, female, and Chicana in America.

Maria Hinojosa talks with Cisneros about life beyond Mango Street.

Right click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

An Ode to Aura

Many spend a lifetime in search of their true soul mate and ultimate love –passionate and everlasting. Very few can say they’ve experienced it. Internationally acclaimed Guatemalan – American author and journalist Francisco Goldman is one of the lucky ones, but his love story has a tragic ending.

Goldman’s soul mate was the beautiful and talented Mexican writer, Aura Estrada. They got married in the summer of 2005, but less than two years later she died in a random swimming accident at their favorite beach in Mexico.

To cope with his grief, Goldman began to write. In his critically acclaimed novel Say Her Name, he chronicles their love story and deep spiritual connection through the prism of his bitter-sweet memories that at times blur the line between reality and fiction.

Maria Hinojosa recently sat down with Goldman to talk about his book and his life with Aura and after her death.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.


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